DMK stages protests in TN seeking rollback of hike in fuel prices

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Chennai, Feb 22 (PTI) The main opposition DMK on Monday staged state-wide protests condemning the hike in fuel prices and sought an immediate rollback of the increase.

The taxation by state and central governments was the reason behind the spiralling rise in the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas, Stalin said in his campaign for Assembly elections likely in April in Erode district.

Raising slogans against the Centre and seeking rollback of the increase, Stalin said Chief Minister K Palaniswami increased the state levy while late party patriarch and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had reduced it twice during the DMK's 2006-11 rule.

The DMK chief wanted Palaniswami to announce a cut in state tax on fuel, 'as part of your poll assurances.' Even if prices of crude oil decreased in global market there was no corresponding reduction in domestic rates and 'this is Modi's government,' he said.

Senior leaders including Duraimurugan and T R Baalu, district secretaries, MLAs, MPs led the protests in various places of the state.

LPG cylinders were garlanded as if paying floral tributes to mourn the dead, at a protest here led by party MP Dayanidhi Maran.

Elsewhere, a two-wheeler was brought on a bullock cart to symbolise the rise in petrol price and a party man carried a cylinder on his head here to condemn the increase in price.

Party workers raised slogans demanding that the Centre and state government take steps for an immediate rollback in the fuel prices.

While petrol prices were Rs 90 plus per litre in key cities of India, some states including pollbound West Bengal and Assam have reduced taxes to facilitate a cut in retail fuel prices. PTI VGN COR BN BN BN