Trinamool to hold protest rallies against petrol price hike

"Maybe, we are part of an ally which is in power at the Centre. But we did not know (about the price hike)," she told reporters in Kolkata.Banerjee said Trinamool Congress workers would hold protest rallies at every block in the state tomorrow against the price rise.Stating that the common man was put in difficulty by rising prices, she said, "We are always with the people. That is why, I have not increased railway fares."

Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay said although Banerjee had met Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the Kolkata airport, the decision on hiking the petrol prices was not communicated to her.

In Delhi, the BJP described as totally unjustified the second steep hike in prices within a month."This cruel price rise of petrol, the second big price rise in a span of a month, is totally unjustified. We demand an immediate rollback of prices of petrol products," said BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar.

The CPI(M) described called the Centre's decision to raise petrol prices "callous" and called upon its various units to launch immediate protest against the hike.

"The Politburo calls upon all its party units to immediately protest the callous hike," CPI(M)'s highest policy-making body, on a two-day meeting in Kolkata, said in a statement. State-owned oil companies had on Saturday raised petrol prices by Rs. 2.50 - Rs. 2.54 per litre, the second hike in a month, on the back of rising crude oil prices.BJP described spiralling prices in general as "failure of the economist Prime Minister" and the food and petrol price hike as a "Congress conspiracy" against the common man.

"When the world is witnessing a stable price regime and food prices are actually going down in most parts, India is experiencing a turbulent price regime because of lack of cohesive policy on part of the UPA," said Javadekar.

"In the name of de-control, it is actually the cartel of oil companies which is raising the prices under government protection", he alleged.

Mocking at the government for being in a state of "policy paralysis" and having "lack of political will and vision", he said, "Sharad Pawar says he is responsible for price rise of only five items. Rahul Gandhi held coalition politics responsible for price rise, DMK feels it is a natural calamity and the PM gives his usual promises of stabilising prices in next two months".
"The BJP demands a rollback in the petrol price hike. We want government to come out with a special action plan to tackle both these issues", he said.

Slamming the government over spiralling prices, CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat said, "It is allowing forward trading in food commodities. What is government doing on sugar, food, petro prices? The question is the culpable responsibility of Government as far as price rise is concerned."

Defending the government's decision, the Congress party said that the UPA was adopting the same mechanism devised by the former NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"Fuel prices are decided by a mechanism in which when the prices of petroleum products in the international market are up then the prices in India go up and when they are down globally, they are less in India too," Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said.

He said the UPA was only following the same pattern, method, formula devised by the NDA government on this issue.In Patna, the ruling Janata Dal (U) lashed out at the Centre for aggravating inflation and price rise."The people were already feeling the pinch of the price rise, but the latest increase in the petroleum prices is bound to aggravate the woes of the common people," JD(U) General Secretary Javed Mehmood said.

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