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Reconsider hike in fuel prices: Vaiko

By Our Tamil Nadu Bureau

THENI, AUG. 2. The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader, Vaiko, today urged the Centre to reconsider the hike in the prices of petroleum and diesel.

Such genuine appeals would not disturb the stability of the Government, he told mediapersons at Venkatachalapuram, near here.

The MDMK leader said harsh measures were unnecessary against administrators and managements over removal of thatched structures in government, private and aided schools. Sufficient time should be given to schools particularly in rural areas for making alternative arrangements.

Many Tamil medium schools, particularly in rural areas, had been functioning in thatched structures owing to a financial crisis. Alternative suggestions should also be provided to them.

Mr. Vaiko, expressing concern at the "precarious law and order" situation in the State, said there was no security and safety to the common man, particularly in Chennai.

The Chief Minister's "irresponsible reaction" to the remarks by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president, M. Karunanidhi, on the law and order situation was deplorable. Instead of taking stern action, she blamed the Opposition for the situation. The Lok Sabha election verdict did not change her mindset , he said.

BJP criticism

At Ramanathapuram, H. Raja, the Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary (Tamil Nadu), told presspersons here that the second increase in the prices of petrol and diesel within one month reflected the Congress-led Government's lack of interest in the welfare of the common man. The permission given to oil companies to fix prices every 15 days would severely affect the poor and middle class. "It is a matter of serious concern," he said.

The decision of the Left to protest against the petrol price hike exposed the double standards of the Communist parties.

Mr. Raja criticised the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, for levelling charges against the Opposition from the foreign soil. During foreign trips, the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, avoided criticising the Opposition parties, he said.

Mr. Raja said he would observe a fast on August 4 at Karaikudi against pollution of Sampai `ootru,' a drinking water source.

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