Mamata Banerjee is again going ballistic. She wants the petrol price hike to be rolled back, and she is ready to go thermonuclear on the UPA government if it does not go along with her demands.
“We will not wait. If the price of petroleum products and cooking gas is increased again we will not stay with this government,” said Banerjee, after her meeting with union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Kolkata.
Mamata is on a role, while the UPA is malingering. What chance does the UPA have of resisting her pressure?
The PM has meanwhile made it clear that he would definitely not do a roll back, and he minced no words in the meeting with Trinamool Congress MPs. Petrol prices have been hiked by Rs.1.80 per litre from Thursday.
But even the PM knew nothing of hikes in the prices of kerosene, diesel and cooking gas. He apparently did not want to indicate a preference either way.
“I asked my MPs what the prime minister told them. They have told us that the prime minister said he had no such information with him now whether gas, diesel, cooking gas rates are going up,” Banerjee said. “But he hasn’t given his word it won’t increase. He was non-commital,” she said.
Describing the prime minister’s stand as a “strategic ploy”, an angry Banerjee said: “When prices of petro products go up globally, they are increased in the country. But when the prices go down (in the international market) they are not reduced domestically.”
The chief minister also termed as “routine” her meeting with Mukherjee in the wake of her party’s threat to withdraw support to the Congress-led UPA government over the petrol price hike.
Pranab Mukherjee told reporters that he discussed not only the state’s financial problem, but also “overall matters” during his talks with Banerjee.
“Not only financial problem…we have discussed overall matters. I have heard that their representatives have also discussed with the prime minister. The prime minister has expressed his concern,” Mukherjee told mediapersons at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International airport here before leaving for New Delhi.