The BJP government in Karnataka on Friday ruled out slashing of cess on petrol following the increase in price and urged the Centre to roll back the hike.

“There is no proposal before the government to reduce cess on petrol. I will write to the Centre urging it to roll back the hike”, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda told reporters in Bangalore.

“The question of reducing petrol price should be addressed to the Centre, which has been resorting to frequent hikes,” he said when asked if the State would come to the rescue of people by reducing cess.

Mr. Gowda said the State Government Employees Association has sought a hike in interim relief from 12.5 per cent to 15 per and that he would take a decision in a week after consulting Finance Department officials.

He said BJP has not yet decided on its candidate for the November 30 bye-election to Bellary Rural Assembly seat, a vacancy created due to the resignation of former minister and mining magnate B Sreeramulu. “We are still in the process of discussing the issue”, he said.

The party is toying with the idea of fielding Mr. Sreeramulu, who resigned his Assembly membership over a month ago, reportedly unhappy over denial of ministerial berth following his indictment in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

Sources close to Mr. Sreeramulu said he has been insisting on a ministerial berth if he wins the seat.