Party sources replied in the affirmative when asked whether the issue had come up during the 30-minute meeting which Gandhi held with Manmohan Singh on Friday morning. Soon after Gandhi had raised the issue with the Prime Minister, some party MPs met Oil Minister Veerappa Moily and demanded that the ceiling for subsidized LPG cylinders be raised from the present nine to 12 per year.

There have been demands from party leaders that the subsidized LPG quota be raised ahead of Lok Sabha elections, after some of them felt that the "unpopular" measure of reducing the limit had cost the party dearly in the recent assembly elections.

With pressure building on him to increase the quota of subsidized LPG cylinders, Moily on Friday said the government would "seriously consider" allowing 12 cylinders for households. Moily, who had last week remarked that there was no proposal to increase the quota, on Friday said he would consult Finance Minister P Chidambaram and move the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) on the issue.

The comments came after Congress MPs Sanjay Nirupam, PC Chacko and Mahabal Mishra met Moily with a petition requesting an increase in the quota of subsidised LPG cylinders. Chidambaram had last week stated that there were demands from "several chief ministers" to raise the quota and that the government "will look into" them.

With a view to cutting its subsidy bill, the government had initially capped the supply of subsidized domestic LPG cylinders to six per household per year in September, 2012. The annual quota was later raised to nine cylinders in January, 2013.


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