Chidambaram slams govt for fuel price hike, says brief pause was only for Karnataka Assembly polls

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday slammed the Narendra Modi-led government for hiking petrol and diesel prices, saying the recent "interval" was only due to the Karnataka Assembly elections that got over on 12 May.

"There we go again. More taxes on petrol and diesel, more burden on the consumer. The Karnataka election was only an interval," he tweeted.

In a separate tweet, Chidambaram also asked all chief ministers to oppose the terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission, which he said was the central government's "attempt to violate the Constitution and wreck the federal system".

After a 19-day pre-Karnataka poll hiatus, the price of petrol was, on Monday, hiked by 17 paise a litre and diesel by 21 paise a litre as state-run oil firms began passing on the spike witnessed in international crude oil rates to consumers.

In Delhi, the price of petrol was hiked to Rs 74.80 per litre from Rs 74.63 while the rate of diesel was increased to Rs 66.14 a litre from Rs 65.93, according to a price notification issued by state-owned oil marketing companies. With this, diesel prices have touched a record high while petrol is at a 56-month peak.

Oil PSUs, which had kept rates unchanged for nearly three weeks before Karnataka went to polls despite input cost spiking, reverted to daily revision in prices no sooner had the state voted to elect a new government on Saturday.

Chidambaram also said Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac's open letter on the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission deserves support.

P Chidambaram. File image. PTI.

A file photo of P Chidambaram. PTI.

"I urge all State CMs and FMs to join hands to protest the Centre's attempt to violate the Constitution and wreck the federal system," he said.

Isaac has said some state finance ministers, who met at Thiruvananthapuram and Amaravati, were worried about the implications of the ToR of the Finance Commission determined by the Union government.

"What the ToR challenge are the federal values enshrined in the Constitution and the modicum of fiscal autonomy State governments enjoy," he has said.

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Updated Date: May 14, 2018 17:41:41 IST

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