Two former Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday slammed the Centre for effecting steep hike in prices of LPG, diesel and kerosene and demanded to reconsider the decision.

“The steep hike effected last midnight is totally undesirable. It has angered the people,” former Chief Minister K Rosaiah of the Congress said.

“The UPA government is only looting the people of the country. It has increased fuel prices 21 times in the last seven years,” former chief minister and Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu said adding the party would organise dharnas in front of all district Collectorates in the State on June 27 to protest the hike.

Maintaining that such heavy burden on people was unjustified, Mr. Rosaiah wanted the Centre to reconsider the decision and withdraw the hike.

Mr. Chandrababu pointed out that oil companies were earning a hefty profit to the tune of Rs 3 lakh crore but the Centre was trying to hoodwink the people by claiming that they were losing Rs 1.71 lakh crore. The fuel prices were enhanced further despite (US) crude oil prices falling from $ 114 to $ 90 a barrel.

He also termed as unfortunate the statement of Union Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy that there could be another round of hike in fuel prices.

Comparing Indian prices with the neighbouring countries, he said in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which are poorer than India, price of diesel is Rs 27.20 and Rs 34.50 a litre respectively while in India it is Rs 47 a litre.

The TDP president demanded that the Centre further reduce the customs and excise duty on petrol and diesel to reduce their prices in the open market.

He also wanted the State government to cut down value-added tax on petrol, diesel and LPG to reduce burden on common people.