In a move that is certain to raise a lot of temperatures across the country, the Cartel of Natural Gas and Resources (CoNGRes) has increased the price of petrol by 3 rupees per liter, or roughly 24 cents for a gallon. The hike goes into effect from midnight, which is when all the refueling stations are expected to resume operations after being closed since news of a possible hike was leaked by us yesterday, by this very intrepid reporter himself.
"Due to global oil prices," said Mr.Aili Manwala, spokesperson for CoNGRes, "We are simply unable to afford driving our own SUVs, microjets and generators. Therefore, unfortunately, with the deepest and most sincere regret, a sobbing heart and a heavy head - sorry, sobbing head and a heavy heart - I would like to announce that we are increasing fuel prices everywhere by Rs.3 per liter from midnight tonight."
The timing of the hike, so soon after Ms Sonia Gandhi, often referred to as she-who-must-not-be-blamed, returned from an expensive surgery at an undisclosed location for an undisclosed illness by an undisclosed team of doctors of undisclosed qualifications has let to speculation that the hike is actually intended to distract from all the other issues facing the government of India. However, an aspiring employee of CoNGRes, wishing to be named, said, "Me, Thick Vijaysingh, know what happened. You remember that Hindu fellow, Anna Hazare, who caused a lot of traffic jams all over the country asking for corruption to end. This was a Hindu terrorist plot, I tell you, so that the common Muslim - and other assorted minorities - are unable to afford even the most basic utilities. I know, I know."
Joining the issue from the Left side, well-known comrade Presht Carrot claimed that it was a Euro-American conspiracy to deprive not poor communities but poor countries like India and China. "It is a fact that China needs a lot of petrol," he said, addressing an impromptu meeting of the party intelligentsia, "And this is America's way of controlling our peaceful brothers across the border." When a lower cadre member of the party pointed out that the hike affected only India, Carrot had him ejected from the meeting. "This is only for the Leadership Committee," he said to thunderous applause from the only other member of the said committee.
While other local and national parties remained silent on the hike, with most contacts asking for more time to study the issue and come out with a white-paper, the Petrol Users of Kerala (PUKE) Association has announced a week-long strike across the state of Kerala as a protest. "We will not rest until there is a rollback," said Mr Chathukuttan Chathunny Curiacose, president of PUKE, "otherwise, we will set fire to every state bus, every public office and every other public property we come across." However, in a late-breaking development, it is rumored that the strike will fail because PUKE cannot afford the quantity of petrol required to burn things across the state. "If they can't have petrol," Ms Sony Agandi, wife of PUKE's president, is quoted to have remarked, "let them use Kerosene."