"Since hiking fuel prices directly would face opposition from the public, they (the Centre) are thinking of hiking the excise duty to show they are shrewd. The Centre has done this only to benefit private oil marketing companies," Karunanidhi said in a 'Question and Answer' released by his party.

He flayed the hike in excise duty and said it has been hiked four times since November last. The DMK patriarch said the prices of crude oil in the international market has fallen upto 60 percent and government should reduce fuel prices for benefit of the public.

Replying to another query, he said, while there were many disputes remaining to be solved, the Centre had replaced the over 65-year-old Planning Commission with the newly formed NITI Aayog.

"If it (NITI Aayog) would draft policies, is it not necessary to have a plan to implement them as schemes? People don't even understand the meaning of NITI Aayog. If the Planning Commission is dissolved at the national level, what is the status of the state-level planning commissions? If the Centre avoided these announcements, it would benefit the people and the country," he said.

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