New Delhi: Slamming the increase in petrol prices, BJP leader Rajnath Singh on Friday alleged that it was fallout of the government's "direction-less" economic policy.

Singh said that "the repeated increase in prices of petrol and diesel were affecting the middle classes and the lower classes the most. Prices of daily need items would also increase because of the increase in oil prices.

"We have raised the issue of price rise earlier and now also we will raise it inside and outside the Parliament," the BJP leader said.

Criticising the government, Singh said the "growing disparity (among the rich and the poor) was a major area of concern and was a result of wrong economic policies."

Corruption was also one of the reasons due to which economic disparity was widening, Singh said.

TMC demands rollback

Trinamool Congress, a key constituent of the UPA government, on Friday demanded a roll back of the hike in petrol prices as it would hit the common man hard.

"Trinamool Congress wants roll back of the petrol price hike," senior Trinamool Congress leader and Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi told reporters here, adding his party's opinion was never sought before implementing the decision.

Stating that the hike would put an additional burden on the common man, Trivedi strongly opposed the possible hike in LPG prices.

"It is not a luxury but an essential for common man and should not be raised further," he told reporters.

He said the hike was not "acceptable" to the common man and he would have "definitely" stated this at the EGoM on LPG which has been postponed.

Asked how his party was going to protest the hike, he said, "You cannot have a knee-jerk reaction. You can't have any undemocratic reaction. We have already registered our protest."

He said party chief Mamata Banerjee "has already registered her protest."

However, he stressed that the protest against the hike would be done in a democratic fashion.

On possible hike in rail fares, Trivedi said, "We would do what is right for the common people. Common man needs relief not more burden. How we would do it that needs to be thought of."

He said constant demand by his party for a rollback in prices of petroleum products earlier and now were not intended at destabilising the government as Mamata Banerjee "is a very responsible leader."

Badal slams UPA for petrol price hike

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday slammed the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for effecting "totally unjustified" and "back breaking" hike in petrol price.

"The totally unwarranted hike in petrol prices will not only break back of the already suffering common man, but will also dampen economy and further slow down growth rate," Badal said in a statement here.

The hike would adversely affect the transport sector in the state resulting in corresponding price rise of essential commodities, he said.

CPM for immediate roll back of fuel price hike

Terming the government's move to hike petrol prices as "callous", the CPI(M) on Friday demanded immediate roll back of the hike and restoration of the administrative regulation of petrol pricing.

Condemning the hike of petrol price by Rs 3.14 per litre in Delhi, the party Politburo said this was the third increase this year which "comes at a time when inflation is touching double digits and the people have no respite from the price rise of essential commodities. This callous move will only have a cascading effect on inflation and price rise."

Party General Secretary Prakash Karat said the repeated increases in petrol prices "shows how callous the UPA government has become".

Petrol price hike will affect comman man: DMK

DMK, a key ally of the UPA, on Friday asked the Government to "roll back" the hike in petrol prices, saying the increase would have a "cascading effect".

"The hike in petrol prices will affect the lower and middle income groups and the poor. Government should not reduce the subsidy," DMK party spokesman T K S Elangovan said.

He said the increase should be rolled back as it would have "cascading effect" on the common man.

DMK is the second UPA ally after Mamata Banerjee led-Trinamool Congress to demand that the Government retrace its step.

(JPN/Agencies)