The hike in the price of diesel and the restriction imposed on the number of LPG cylinders a consumer can get in a year have evoked widespread criticism all over Haryana.

Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) activists organised protests at various places on Friday while leaders of other political parties including the CPI (M) and the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC)-BJP alliance issued statements flaying the steep hike.

Former Haryana Chief Minister and INLD supremo Om Parkash Chautala asserted that the United Progressive Alliance regime at the Centre had taken yet another anti-people step which would further push up inflation and cost of living.

He said the people would never tolerate this “foolish and impractical decision of the Centre”.

CPI (M) State Secretary Inderjit Singh said the party would hold “protest actions all over the State demanding withdrawal of the hike”. He further accused the UPA-II government of cheating the ordinary people by taking recourse to falsehood about notional losses to the oil companies “which have on the contrary shown substantial profits in their balance sheets.”

He added that the hike would have an adverse impact on the peasantry which was already faced with ‘distress conditions’ and lead to overall price rise of all essential commodities, thereby adding additional monthly burden of at least Rs.400 on families.

Haryana Janhit Congress MLA Renuka Bishnoi also condemned the steep hike.