A large section of dealers of Reliance petrol pumps across Gujarat are up in arms and keen to sever their relations with the company. They have threatened to intensify their agitation and even commit self-immolation in front of the Reliance office here if the company fails to come to a negotiated settlement at the earliest.

The dealers held a meeting at Ambaji on Sunday and decided to serve an ultimatum to the company to terminate their dealership and release their lands immediately. Secretary of the Reliance Petrol Dealers Association of Gujarat Varun Patel said the decision was taken because they were no longer in a position to continue to suffer losses.

Of a total of about 1,300 petrol pumps opened by Reliance in the country, about 290 were in Gujarat. Of these, 126 were both owned and operated by dealers, while of the remaining 164, a majority of the pumps were set up on lands owned by the dealers.

Mr. Patel said the dealers were connected with the company for the last five years or so and were suffering losses all through because the company charged higher rates for its petroleum products than pumps run by the public sector corporations.

He said that when the dealers launched an agitation a couple of month ago on the same demand, the Reliance group head for Gujarat, Parimal Nathwani, sought two months time and promised to resolve the matter amicably.

“But, two months have passed and nothing has been done so far and the dealers have reached the limit of their patience,” Mr. Patel said.