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Rediff.com  » Business » Allies slam petro price hike, a roll back possible

Allies slam petro price hike, a roll back possible

Last updated on: November 4, 2011 18:33 IST

UPA allies, Opposition miffed by petro hike

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The Congress' allies on Friday slammed the steep hike in the petrol price with a key UPA constituent Trinamool Congress talking in terms of pulling out of the government as indications emerged that a partial roll-back of the increase may be on the cards.

In a bid to put pressure on the government, the Trinamool Congress, the second largest constituent of the UPA with 18 MPs, held an emergency meeting of its Parliamentary Party its after which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said leaders favoured withdrawal of support but she has stayed such a move.

"Our withdrawal of support may result in fall of the government. But since the Prime Minister is away, we want to discuss with him and have sought an appointment with him," she said.

Banerjee said Congress was dependent on the support of allies like the Trinamool Congress, NCP and DMK to run the government but the allies have been silenced and not not heard in the Cabinet.

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Image: Mamata Banerjee addresses her supporters during an election campaign rally.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters.
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UPA allies, Opposition miffed by petro hike

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"Our party chief Mamata Banerjee is angry that she was not consulted and UPA's largest ally was kept in the dark. The way in which the petrol price hike was effected, was opposed by our party," Bandopadhyay said.

Bandopadhyay earlier said that the "lack of coordination" in the UPA was manifest in the unilateral decisions that the Centre was taking on vital issues.

The Trinamool parliamentary party leader said the party's suggestion for a meeting with UPA allies at least once in two or three months had not been heeded.

Allies like NCP and National Conference also expressed their discomfort with the petrol price hike and sought a reconsideration of the decision.

Even as allies mounted pressure, the oil marketing companies ruled out a roll back of their yesterday's decision but said they would cut the rate if government gives them a directive.

Congress sources indicated that a "partial rollback" of the hike hike could happen in the next few days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's return from G-20 summit in France.

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Image: An employee counts money at a fuel station in Kolkata.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters.
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UPA allies, Opposition miffed by petro hike

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Left parties slam hike in petrol prices

Lashing out at the UPA government for hiking petrol prices, the Left parties today asked all their state units to launch nationwide protests saying the move was a major factor responsible for fuelling prices of essential commodities.

"Government's deregulation of petrol pricing is responsible for fuelling hike of essential commodities and inflation," the CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.

"The hoax of the pricing according to the market has been exposed as international oil prices have fallen considerably in the recent period," it said, adding the Congress-led coalition "has once again displayed its shocking callousness at the plight of the people".

The food inflation rate touched 12.21 per cent the day the petrol prices were raised by Rs. 1.80 per litre, the party said and asked its units to launch united protests, including mass picketing, across the country.

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Image: Activists from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) shout slogans during a protest against the hike in fuel prices in New Delhi.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters.
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UPA allies, Opposition miffed by petro hike

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The CPI Secretariat also condemned the petrol price hike, terming it "unjustified" and said the prices of essential commodities were already high and were going up.

"This increase will add additional burden on the common people", it said, demanding immediate withdrawal of the increase in the prices of petrol.

Noting that petrol prices were raised after the Petroleum Ministry announced moves to hike diesel and cooking gas prices against, CPI-M leader Nilotpal Basu said the Government was "totally insensitive" to the miseries of the people.

"The taxation policy of hydro-carbon is totally anti-people. Due to ad valorem taxes when the prices of petrol increases, tax collection rises even more," he said.

CPI leader D Raja said the hike was a big blow to the "aam aadmi" at a time when food inflation had reached double digit.


Image: Petrol pump.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Petrol hike due to govt's 'mismanagement': Advani

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The hike in petrol price is a result of government's "mismanagement", BJP leader L K Advani said today noting that international crude prices were not going up the way fuel prices in the country were spiralling.

"Their's is a mismanagement of a different kind. International crude prices are not going up in the manner in which our (fuel) prices here are going up," Advani said.

Oil companies on Thursday raised petrol prices by Rs 1.80 per litre, citing the impact of rupee depreciation on the cost of crude oil imports.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today admitted the hike in petrol prices will have some impact on inflation, which is currently hovering close to the double-digit mark.

Soon after the hike was announced last night, BJP had alleged that the hike was yet another act of "midnight deceit" by the UPA and insisted that the common man would not spare the dispensation led by the "economist" Prime Minister for its arrogance.


Image: L K Advani.

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TN parties flay petrol price hike

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Political leaders in Tamil Nadu flayed the Centre for the petrol price hike, saying it had "no concern for the people."

"Price of petrol was last hiked in September. An increase within the next two months is unjustified and condemnable," MDMK leader Vaiko said.

The latest revision of prices showed that there was no end to the "anti-people approach" of the Centre, he said.

"A Congress government which is incapable of retrieving black money is burdening the common people by increasing fuel prices.This increase should be immediately withdrawn," he demanded.

Demanding an immediate rollback in the hike, PMK founder S Ramadoss charged the Centre with showing no concern for the common people as prices had been revised by Rs 20 in the last 15 months.

"When the Manmohan Singh government assumed power in 2004, petrol cost Rs 36.79 per litre but has now doubled to over Rs 72," he said and alleged that Centre's "wrong" economic policies were the reason for such a situation.


Image: Petrol price hike may be rolled back.

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