press trust of india
Thiruvananthapuram, 6 January
Shifting focus from the solar scam, the CPI(M)-led LDF Opposition in Kerala has seized on the LPG price hike and its "Adhaar-linkage” as potent issues to take on the Congress-led governments in the state and at the Centre.
The LDF members staged a walkout in the state Assembly today, accusing the Oommen Chandy government of taking lightly the severe hardship caused to people because of the LPG price hike and insistence of oil companies on Aadhaar-linkage subsidy on cooking gas for household consumers.
Outside the House, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan announced that his party would organise fasts and protest demonstrations in 1,400 centres covering all 140 Assembly segments across the state from 15 January, demanding rollback of hike in LPG price and scrapping the policy of linking subsidised domestic connections with Aadhaar cards.
Talking to reporters, Mr Vijayan said by frequently increasing the LPG price the Centre was helping big private players tighten their grip in the petroleum sector.
Raising the issue in the Assembly, Opposition Leader VS Achuthanandan alleged the Central and state governments had colluded with petroleum companies to “plunder” the common man.
Countering the Opposition charge, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government is opposed to frequent hike in subsidised LPG and wanted direct transfer of subsidy amount to bank accounts put on hold for at least another six months, as only 57 per cent of domestic consumers had achieved ‘Aadhaar-linkage’ of their bank accounts.
This demand had been directly conveyed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to the state.