Congress allies slam petrol price hike

Resentment among UPA partners over petrol price hike grew with two more allies expressing concern.

New Delhi: 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 heard in the Cabinet.

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 could happen in the next few days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s return from G-20 summit in France.

A senior party leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the allies would be consulted after Prime Minister`s return.


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