Mamata a respected and important ally of UPA: Soni

A day after key UPA partner Trinamool Congress protested against the petrol price hike, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Friday said party chief Mamata Banerjee was `a very respected and important ally.`

Updated: Sep 16, 2011, 18:44 PM IST

Kolkata: A day after key UPA partner
Trinamool Congress protested against the petrol price hike,
Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Friday said
party chief Mamata Banerjee was `a very respected and
important ally.`
The Trinamool, second largest partner of the UPA,
registered a strong protest yesterday with the Centre against
the petrol price hike, alleging it was not consulted before
the hike was announced.

"We would like to take her along with us and talk to her
on all important issues," she told reporters on the sidelines
of the annual convocation of Satyajit Ray Film and Television
Institute.

The I&B minister explained petrol has been decontrolled
and as such it is not in the hands of the government.

However, it is `unfortunate` that it has happened, she
said.
Turning to the high inflation rate, the minister said the
Prime Minister and the Finance Minister were `sensitive` to
the problem being faced by the common people.

"They have assured of taking some steps to bring down the
high rate of inflation," she said.

Asked about what transpired in the talks between her and
the chief minister during the day, Soni said, "I am not
authorised to speak what we discussed. But she has told me her
viewpoints which I will convey to the Prime minister."

PTI