A day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa expressed concern over the dual diesel pricing policy, DMK, a key ally of UPA, on Saturday demanded that the Centre withdraw the “retrograde” step.

“The dual pricing policy of the oil companies is a retrograde step affecting the State transport undertakings.

The Centre should immediately withdraw the measure which is against socialistic principles”, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi said in a statement.

Ms. Jayalalithaa had on Friday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding the withdrawal of “ill-conceived” and “short-sighted” measure and threatened to move the Supreme Court if it was not rolled back.

Mr. Karunanidhi said raising the prices of diesel for bulk consumers by Rs 11.81 per litre would result in an additional expenditure of Rs 2.32 crore per day to the state-owned transport corporations which were set up with a purpose of providing affordable transportation to the public.

Observing that he had already voiced concern over allowing oil companies to increase the diesel prices by 50 paise per litre, Mr. Karunanidhi said he had also urged the Centre to take steps to safeguard the poor and middle-class.

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