Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh), June 26(ANI): To protest steep hike in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas), diesel and kerosene prices, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi furrowed field with buffaloes-driven plough in Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad district on Sunday.
The Centre on Friday hiked the price of diesel by three rupees a litre, kerosene by two rupees a litre and LPG by 50 rupees a cylinder.
"The Central government is shamelessly hiking the prices of diesel and LPG gas every month. The common man and farmers are suffering every month.
But despite this, this government is forcing the farmers to close down tractors to help the fuel mafia," Naqvi said.
He threatened to dump large number of gas cylinders into the Congress party office as a mark of protest.
"The inflation-hit people have closed down their tractors and emptied LPG gas cylinders. We are going to present them to you (the government) which may used by the Prime Minister (Dr. Manmohan Singh) in his office or by Sonia Gandhi (Congress chief) in the Congress office. Sonia Gandhi may use it to run her stove or burn the Congress office," he added.
Since it was first elected in 2004, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh government has more often than not refrained from pushing through tough reforms in favour of pleasing its predominantly rural voter base.
Diesel is the most widely used transport fuel in India and powers tractors and irrigation pumps for farmers in one of the world's biggest producers and consumers of grains and sugar.
Since the government agreed in principle to lift fuel costs a year ago, international crude prices have soared 39 percent, swelling the money spent on subsidising fuel prices to a country with 500 million people living in poverty.
Petrol prices, which largely affect more affluent Indians, have gone up about 23 percent since they were freed a year ago.
With inflation above nine percent and domestic fuel costs up nearly 13 percent on the year, raising prices would immediately hit the UPA coalition's core voters among India's poor, who live on less than the cost of two litres of diesel a day.
According to official estimates, the public sector oil companies are currently losing 490 crore rupees per day on sale of petrol and diesel, kerosene and LPG cylinder at current prices. (ANI)