They also pointed out the lack of coordination between the UPA allies while taking major decisions.
In what could be seen as a win-win strategy, the party also sought a financial package of Rs 19,000 crore for the state.
“We have asked for better co-ordination among the allies. We have also told the prime minister that we will be forced to rethink about our stay in the UPA if there is one more hike in oil prices,” senior party leader and Union Minister Sudip Bandopadhyay said.
The arm-twisting of the UPA by the regional ally is being seen a way of distancing itself from the coalition. The reluctance to agree to the bailout package can be highlighted as the Centre’s failure to respond to the crisis the state is facing. But the Centre is cagey of giving in to such demands, as other States in economic crisis, such as Bihar, too can make similar demands.
Bandopadhyay quoted the prime minister as saying that there would be no further hike in the prices of diesel or LPG gas. The prime minister also responded positively to their demand to have better co-ordination among the UPA allies while taking major decisions. However, there was no commitment either on rollback or further hike in petrol prices as demanded by Trinamool and Opposition parties.
“We expressed our sentiments to the prime minister and gave him a copy of the resolution adopted at the Parliamentary Party meeting held in Kolkata,” Bandhopadhyay said.
The delegation had categorically told the prime minister that the Trinamool Congress was opposed to any decision that would lead to another rise in the prices of diesel, LPG and kerosene, as has been reported in the media.
Singh, on his part, gave economic reasons and other compulsions behind the decision.
When the 24 MPs were holding discussions with the prime minister, in Kolkata, their leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who met Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and demanded the package, returned empty-handed from the meeting.
“Nothing substantial came out. This type of meetings were also held in the past,” Banerjee, who held an over hour-long meeting with Mukherjee at the Raj Bhavan said.