Slamming the latest hike in prices of petrol and diesel, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday charged the Centre with "fooling" people by reducing the rates of petrol earlier with an eye on the just concluded Karnataka Assembly elections.
"Central government had not just reduced prices of petrol since March 16 keeping in mind the Karnataka elections, but had also suspended revising diesel prices. Increasing the prices of diesel twice and petrol once after polls is a fooling act," she said in a statement.
Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) had announced a hike of 75 paise a litre for petrol and 45 paise for diesel in the backdrop of the weakening Indian rupee.
Ms Jayalalithaa said it was not acceptable that depreciation of the rupee was a reason for the price revision. The depreciation was sparked by Central economic policies, deficit in rupee's value and future trading in forex market, she charged.
The chief minister recalled she had already demanded for a change in fuel price determination policy saying the existing import parity price was not acceptable and oil rates should be fixed based on price of imported crude and refining costs.
Pressing for setting up of a financial mechanism that would insulate people from spurt in fuel prices as a result of rupee depreciation, she demanded the rollback of latest hike.