Commuters in Kerala suffered on Wednesday as public transport vehicles went off roads to protest against the frequent increase in fuel prices. Many universities also postponed their exams, reported PTI.

At Thampanoor railway station in Thiruvananthapuram, rail commuters waited for hours while the police arranged vehicles to transport patients to hospitals. Autorickshaws and taxis were off the roads, while the state-run Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses also did not ply in support of the dawn-to-dusk transport strike called by motor vehicles owners’ associations and trade unions owing allegiance to the ruling Left Democratic Front and the Congress-led United Democratic Front. The Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, however, did not participate in the protest.

Convener of the Joint Action Council KK Divakaran blamed the Centre for the steep rise in fuel prices. He alleged that the Centre was not taking steps to slash the rates even though the crude oil prices in the international market have plummeted.

The matter was also discussed in the Kerala Assembly on Wednesday when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan blamed the Centre’s “wrong tax rate policy” for the strike. He said the Centre had allowed companies to determine the price of petroleum products, which was the main reason for the “uncontrolled” increase in price of fuel, PTI reported.

The price of petrol in Mumbai on Tuesday touched Rs 80.25 per litre for the first time since August 2014. Diesel prices went up to Rs 67.30 per litre in Mumbai. Wary of the increase in prices, the Oil Ministry is pushing for a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel in the 2018-’19 Budget, according to Reuters.