Political parties in the State were unanimous in condemning the hike in the price of milk and bus fares, announced by the State government on Thursday. They demanded an immediate rollback saying that the price hike would be a severe blow to the common man.
Condemning the price hike, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi said the party would react after going through the reasons for the increasing the rates. If need be, the party would launch an agitation against the hike.
Terming the hike as “unprecedented,” Desiya Murpoku Dravida Kazhagam president Vijayakant said the steep increase in the price of milk would affect the middle class and the poor. At a time when the prices of essential commodities were steadily on the rise, Thursday's announcement on the hike only added to the burden of the common man.
While taking pride in the budget saying that it was “tax-free”, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime announced a price hike soon after the local body elections. This only exposed the anti-people policy of the government. The steep hike in the bus tariff came as a shock to the people. Mr. Vijayakant also condemned the move to increase power tariff.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said the increase in the price of milk by Rs. 6.25 per litre and the near 100 per cent hike in bus tariff would put the people to sufferings.
In a resolution, the State Committee of the party condemned the hike and demanded a rollback. Instead of bringing relief to the people, the AIADMK government added to their hardship by announcing the price hike and recommending to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission to increase power tariff, he said.
While conceding that the reasons cited by the government for the hike were valid, the Communist party of India said taxing the common man was not a solution.
CPI State secretary D. Pandian said there could not be a denial to the rationale that the previous government had caused financial crunch and the Centre was denying Tamil Nadu its rightful due. However, these reasons were no justification for overburdening the people with the price hike.
Instead, the government should unite the people and oppose the Union government demanding the State's rights, he said.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B.S. Gnanadesikan refuted the claim of the government that the hike was consequent to the Centre not allotting adequate funds for the State.
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre allocated substantial funds to the States for education, urban/rural development, infrastructure development and sanitation. Demanding a rollback in the price hike, he said efficient fund management was the State's responsibility.
Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss said power tariff was increased in July 2010 and the move to effect a hike in just a year later was unacceptable.
The drastic increase in the price of milk and bus tariff would add to the burden of the people, he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party State president Pon. Radhakrishnan, expressing shock over the price hike, said people living below the poverty line were already suffering due to the increase in the price of essential commodities. Milk was essential for the healthy growth of children.