He says that Centre, State compete to increase essential commodities prices

Accusing the Central and State governments of competing with each other in raising prices of essential commodities and services, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) leader Vijayakant on Friday demanded a full roll back of the increase in petrol price.

“There are reports that the petrol price would be reduced by Rs.1.50. This is nothing but an attempt to hoodwink and would not give any relief to the people reeling under the heavy burden of price rise,” he said, leading a demonstration against the petrol price hike here on Friday. He demanded that petrol price be fixed for specific periods of five years.

Flaying the Union and State governments for playing a “blame game,” he called upon the people to teach them a lesson.

“The Centre blames oil companies for the hike. Did people vote for the oil companies? Can't the State Government reduce the tax on petrol by 10 per cent?” he wondered.

Prices of diesel and LPG might also go up soon. “You have to put an end to this through the election. Let new people come to power across the country. All these parties are steeped in corruption and do not bother about people,” he said.

The parties made tall claims but hardly delivered, he said, citing the slump in GDP growth against the Centre's promise of bringing about 9 per cent growth. In Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK promised an end to power cuts, but there are still no signs of the power shortage being overcome.

Condemning the hike in milk price, bus fare and power tariff revision in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Vijayakant demanded that populist schemes be shelved in favour of growth oriented programmes.

Referring to the by-election to the Pudukottai constituency, Mr. Vijayakant said the DMDK would not have contested the election if the CPI had fielded its candidate.

“I am not afraid to face elections. It is the AIADMK which is afraid,” he said, pointing out that 32 Ministers were sent to campaign for the recent by-election in Sankarankoil. Now, the AIADMK had deputed over 52 member team for campaigning in Pudukottai. This, by itself, is a victory to the DMDK, he claimed.

Panruti S. Ramachandran, party presidium chairman, said Mr. Vijayakant was the only leader in the State to stand by the people and the DMDK has emerged as a deciding force in Tamil Nadu politics.

Party cadre, braving the sun, raised slogans against the Central and State governments flaying the increase in price of petrol and the revision of milk price, power tariff and bus fare in Tamil Nadu.