Millennium Post

Unpleasant but inevitable: Cong on diesel price hike

With diesel price hike coming under attack from friends and foes alike, Congress on Friday said it was also not happy with it but saw it as an inevitable step and ruled out pressing for a rollback.

‘We are ourselves not happy, they will be naturally unhappy as well. We will try to convince them’, was the refrain of party spokesman P C Chacko to protests by allies like Trinamool Congress and DMK.

Facing a host of questions at the AICC briefing, Chacko gave no hint of any rollback of the hike but felt that the reduction of taxes on diesel both by the Centre and states should be considered.

His refrain was that the government had to reluctantly’ go in for the ‘unpleasant decision’ in the wake of the spiralling international prices of crude, fall in rupee and the whopping losses to oil PSUs.

Stoutly rejecting suggestions that the protests by allies like Trinamool Congress and DMK was a ‘drama’, he said that he does not believe that anyone protesting the hike was doing it for a drama as ‘there is a real situation’.

‘In fact, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had herself told the government that if it can be avoided, please avoid it,’ he said but also made it clear that the the party will not ask for a rollback though there is demand from many states as the government is really in a ‘very very tight situation’.

He said if anyone has not been consulted, they will be taken into confidence and explained the reasons behind the hike, he said when asked to comment on TMC chief Mamata Banerjee's remarks that her party was not consulted.

‘In coalition government, partners may not be unanimous on many issues,’ he said adding that attempts would be made to  convince other parties to agree to the price hike.
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