Opposition leader VD Satheesan
Thiruvananthapuram: The UDF staged a walkout from the Kerala legislative assembly as the Speaker denied permission for the adjournment motion on the fuel price hike.
In the assembly, the Opposition voiced that the fuel price hike is a state-sponsored terror and the Kerala government is not intervening to ease the hardships of the commoners. Finance Minister K N Balagopal responded that the state government has only reduced the tax levied by the UDF government and the LDF government has not increased the fuel tax.
While addressing the media after the walkout, the Opposition leader V D Satheeshan alleged that the state government is protecting the Modi government. “Has CPM done any protest against the Centre over fuel price hike? The way the ruling fraction behaved in the assembly shows that the state government is protecting the Modi government. In the last three years, the state government here has received enormous revenue due to fuel price hikes. So the government is happier than anyone else whenever there is a fuel price hike,” he said.
However, he pointed out that Congress-led opposition in Kerala is not against getting more revenue and they demand to provide fuel subsidies for the underprivileged. “If we take the case of school-going students, it will be difficult for the families to bear the transportation cost. They are relying on KSRTC. So for the KSRTC to provide some relief to the students, the government should give fuel subsidies to KSRTC. Likewise, the fishermen and the auto-taxi drivers should be given subsidies," he said.
Similar comments were made by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML)’s veteran leader PK Kunhalikutty who was also part of the UDF’s media meet. “Instead of criticising BJP, the state government is still complaining about the policy measures taken by Manmohan Singh. We all know that the Centre is not listening to the issues raised by weaker sections. At least the state government should not act like that," he said.