Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Nationalist Congress Party on Friday appealed to the Left parties to call off their agitation against the recent hike in the price of petroleum products.

Urging the Left parties to “understand the economic realities at the national and the global level,” party general secretary D.P. Tripathi said the hike was “unavoidable and inevitable because of unprecedented pressure of the international market.”

He said so far the United Progressive Alliance government had been able to explain to the people the rationale behind the hike and tried to create a situation of putting “minimum burden on the common man” by asking States to reduce taxes.

According to him the Prime Minister had acted in the interest of the nation. “Had a decision not been taken, the oil companies would have turned bankrupt in the long run,” he added.

Karnataka poll

Referring to the Karnataka poll results, Mr. Tripathi said the lesson to be learnt was that there should be unity amongst secular political parties. “The NCP decided not to contest in the State so as to not divide the secular votes. Had the Congress and the JD (Secular) reached an understanding, the secular votes would not have got divided to the advantage of the BJP.”