Kolkata: The recent fuel price hike has given the ‘low-on-spirit’ CPI (M) a desperately needed issue to target the UPA government via Trinamool Congress (TMC). Even though UPA will be under criticism for the increased petrol rates, the thrust of Left Front leaders would be on TMC chief Mamata Banerjee for supporting the Union Government.

With Banerjee’s swearing-in as Bengal’s Chief Minister on Friday, the CPM will wait for the new state government to take measures for revision of fuel prices and reducing sales tax, failing which the party will stage widespread protest.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose said, “Left Front will strongly and extensively protest against any such measure which is anti-people. The government cannot escape by  merely justifying that the fuel price hike is owing to high crude oil prices globally. Every time government gives such reasons before doing the price hike.”

He pointed out that previously Banerjee had opposed inflation, but in the second tenure of UPA government she has remained silent over the issue. The CPI (M) leader maintained that Banerjee has been under pressure from her UPA allies to maintain silence on inflation.

During Left regime in Bengal, high fuel tax remained a major issue for opposition parties and the TMC had often demanded the government to reduce sales tax as consumers had to pay heavy amount.

Left Front is all geared up to raise a similar demand before TMC-led state government. West Bengal is already facing a financial debt of Rs 2 lakh crore and reducing the sales tax may deepen the crisis in the state.

JPN/Bureau