The decision of the UPA government yesterday to raise the prices of petrol and diesel, the fifth in two years, has led to predictable reactions. The BJP and the Left are crying foul and threatening nationwide protests but the Union petroleum minister Murli Deora says his hands were tied because of the rising international oil prices and the surging losses being posted by the oil PSUs.
Questions: Is the price hike a slap on the aam aadmi on whose shoulders the UPA came to power? Will the BJP and Left protests be successful, or is this just a sham stir? Should the Centre and States cut their levies, which amounts to half of what we pay per litre, or are these levies important to undertake the "social" programmes? Will the UPA roll back a bit of the hike to ease the burden on the common man, or is the financial condition of the oil majors more important?