Last evening, the government announced a Rs 5 or 12% hike in the price of diesel and said each household will now be entitled to a maximum of six subsidised LPG cylinders. The politically tough move has been attacked by allies like Mamata Banerjee and the DMK. C Rangarajan, Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, said an increase in diesel prices in India should avert a credit rating downgrade for the country.
After an official stop in Kochi, the Defence Minister was scheduled to travel to the Maldives - he will now fly there directly.
Sources have told NDTV that Mr Antony was suggested alternative routes to the venue.
In Kerala, opposition Left parties and the BJP have called a bandh or strike on Saturday against the new diesel prices. The LDF and BJP have given separate calls for Left leaders and said the hike has amounted to a "declaration of war on people."
Associations of bus and truck operators say they must be allowed to increase fares accordingly.
(With inputs from Reuters)