TMC builds up pressure to rollback fuel hike

The Trinamool MPs will meet the Prime Minister in New Delhi on Tuesday demanding an immediate roll back of the petrol price hike.

Updated: Nov 07, 2011, 00:47 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi/Kolkata: UPA’s biggest constituent Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday stepped up heat on the government on the issue of petrol price hike, with its ministers sending their resignation to party supremo Mamata Banerjee.

In a bid to build pressure on the government, the Trinamool Congress MPs will meet the Prime Minister in New Delhi on Tuesday demanding an immediate roll back of the petrol price hike.

Chief Whip of Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhyay said, "I have sent a letter to the PMO seeking an appointment on November 8. I am expecting that the appointment will be fixed on November 8 since the PMO told me that he (Singh) will be abroad on November 9".
“During the meeting we`ll express our concern to the Prime Minister,” Bandyopadhyay, also a Union minister said.

During the meeting the TMC is likely to demand a change in the “operational structure” of the UPA, reports say. Senior Trinamool leader Derek O`Brien said, “The party will seek quarterly meetings to involve allies in decision making,” O`Brien said.

"After a talk with the Prime Minister, we will return here on November 9 and report to party supremo Mamata Banerjee who will take the final call on the issue," Bandyopadhyay, also a Union minister said.
"We are a pro-people party. Fuel prices were hiked 11 times in 12 months," a fumed Bandyopadhyay quickly added.

There is a possibility that Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee could pull out ministers from the Cabinet if the impasse continues. Trinamool Congress has 18 members in the Lok Sabha.

The Trinamool Congress parliamentary party has already authorised the party chief to take the decision in the matter after they decided on November 4 to pull out of the government if there was no rollback.

The development came just two days after the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh virtually justified the hike in petrol prices, saying that the decision to decontrol the petroleum prices was a part of the process to ensure fair play in commodity market.

"These are very sensitive areas and I have no hesitation in saying ultimately we must allow the markets to find their own level except for those commodities which are semi public goods...So, the direction of change is quite clear. We must move in the direction of decontrolling more and more prices,” he had told journalists at the sidelines of G-20 Summit in Cannes.

Earlier Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had made it clear that any more economic pressure on the people won’t be accepted by her party.