Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday condemned the hike in the price of petrol and demanded withdrawal of the rights conferred on oil companies to fix the price of petroleum products.

In a statement here, she likened the hike to “a bird pecking at the wound of a bull.”

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the hike would have a direct bearing on transport cost and in turn result in spiralling of the price of essential commodities. “The people will be subjected to unbearable suffering.”

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the tears shed by the people would one day become a weapon and destroy the Central government.

PMK leader S. Ramadoss said the hike had proved that the Centre had scant regard for the poor and the middle class in the country.

“Yet another hike in a gap of 12 days is an inhuman economic crime,” he said, adding that it was unacceptable to make the people bear the burden of increase in the oil price in the international market.

He also wanted the Centre to abrogate the right of the oil companies to make changes in the price of petroleum products.