New Delhi: The government on Friday ruled out any immediate rollback of the fuel price hike. Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy, defending the move, said the government would wait and watch for a few days and that the country could not be run on popular sentiment alone.
The Congress, however, is pushing the government for at least a partial rollback.
Meanwhile, with the Opposition and allies announcing a street fight in protest against the petrol price hike, the government was forced to offer a ray of hope that though there would be no immediate rollback, it could happen soon.
"We are watching the situation for a few days and not weeks," said Jaipal.
By setting no deadline, Jaipal tried to balance concern of both consumers and oil companies. The dilemma for government is how to get credit for itself and not opposition or allies.
Mamata and the DMK will protest against the hike through a dharna. The NDA too called for agitation on May 31, and with new friend Samajwadi Party too joining it, the Congress finds itself alone.
Under pressure, the first fallout is that diesel and LPG hike may not happen soon as the Empowered Group of Ministers meet has been deferred yet again.
What's worrying the government for now is that a rethink over a much needed petrol and diesel price hike could hold up big ticket reforms like FDI in multi brand retail and aviation.