Opposition parties slammed the government for burdening the common man with a hike in petrol prices at a time when food prices had skyrocketed.

Oil marketing companies (OMCs) announced a Rs. 1.82 a litre hike in petrol prices late on Thursday evening

“Petrol price hiked again — another blow to the common man from an insensitive government,'' senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj wrote on the micro blogging site Twitter.

The Left parties demanded an immediate roll-back saying the Congress-led government had become totally insensitive to the woes of the common man. Both the CPI(M) and the CPI asked their State units to stage demonstrations in all nooks and corners.

CPI's national secretary D. Raja said the hike was a big blow to the “aam aadmi” at a time when food inflation had reached double digits and prices of essential commodities had shot up. “It shows how insensitive the Congress-led UPA government continues to be to the suffering of the common people,'' he said.

Mr. Raja said there was no transparency in the fixation of petrol prices and rued that the decision was taken when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was abroad.

CPI(M) leader Nilotpal Basu said the taxation policy of hydro-carbon was totally anti-people. “Due to ad valorem taxes, when the prices of petrol increases, tax collection rises even more,'' he said.

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