Pinarayi, Govindan meet amid massive protests against cess on fuel

Pinarayi Vijayan, MV Govindan
Pinarayi Vijayan, MV Govindan

Kochi: Amid the rising protests against the cess on petrol and diesel, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and CPM State Secretary MV Govindan met at the guest house here to discuss the issue.

The party is likely to make its stance on the issue clear considering the rising criticism against the price hike amongst the public.

The Secretary has opined that a decision can be arrived after relevant discussions on the matter.

Many leaders of CPM have raised their objections against the imposition of additional cess. Some leaders have even asked the finance minister to limit the cess to Re 1, Manorama News reported.

LDF Convenor EP Jayarajan said on Saturday that the difference in petrol, diesel price variations compared to bordering towns in neighbouring states  will give them a competitive advantage over Kerala.

CPI State Secretary Kanam Rajendran however, steered clear of controversy and said that the party would make it stance clear after discussions within the LDF.

"We have no opinion to offer. We shall speak our opinion in the Assembly," he said.

Youth Congress protest against cess on fuel. Photo: Screengrab/Manorama News

Meanwhile, protests by the Opposition parties broke out in different parts of Kerala over the budgetary proposal of the Left government to impose cess on petrol, diesel and liquor.

Youth Congress workers waved black flags at the Chief Minister while his convoy left the guest house on Saturday morning. The police have beefed up the security at the venues to be visited by the CM considering the agitation.

The Opposition Congress is observing 'Black Day' on February 4 against the alleged anti-people policies of the State government.

Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan had alleged that the Left government was covering up the critical financial situation of the State and has increased the tax burden on the people.

"The budget is hiding the critical financial situation faced by the State government and the proposals amount to looting the people. The decision to impose cess on liquor will lead to more people shifting towards drugs. The budget was presented without doing adequate studies," Satheesan said.

KPCC chief K Sudhakaran described the budget as a huge blow to common man. “This budget paves a way for the luxurious lives of these leaders by oppressing people,” he added.

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