Kolkata/New Delhi: In a virtual rebellion against the UPA government, its largest ally Trinamool Congress on Friday threatened to pull out over the petrol price hike, as it sought an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before taking "any vital decision".

READ MORE:Petrol prices hiked by Rs 1.80 per litre

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"Our withdrawal of support may result in fall of the government. But since the Prime Minister is away, we want to discuss with him and have sought an appointment with him," Trinamool Congress Chairperson Mamata Banerjee told reporters at the State Secretariat here.
   
"Discussions are required before a vital decision is to be taken," she said after her party's Parliamentary Wing submitted a resolution to her calling for pull out from the UPA.
   
Banerjee, in the first-ever attack on the Congress since the formation of the UPA-II government in 2009, said her party would seek an appointment with the Prime Minister sometime between November 8 and 10 according to his convenience after he returns from abroad.
   
It was unacceptable that such a crucial decision on petrol price hike had been taken in the absence of the Prime Minister, she said.
   
Banerjee said an emergency meeting of the Trinamool Congress parliamentary party was in favour of quitting the UPA for the unilateral decisions of major ally Congress, without consulting allies and keeping them in the dark, she said.
   
"We have been silenced and not heard in the Union Cabinet. Our only Cabinet minister Dinesh Trivedi, when he raises any issue concerning the people, is told to keep quiet.
We have tolerated so much and adjusted," Banerjee said, adding there was lack of coordination and cooperation in the UPA.
   
Pointing out that Congress was dependant on support of allies like the Trinamool Congress, NCP and DMK to run the UPA government, she said, "But we are not dependant on Congress."

Petrol hike due to govt's 'mismanagement': Advani
   
Pune: The hike in petrol price is a result of Government's "mismanagement", BJP leader L K Advani said on Friday noting that international crude prices were not going up the way fuel prices in the country were spiralling.
   
"Their's is a mismanagement of a different kind. International crude prices are not going up in the manner in which our (fuel) prices here are going up," Advani told reporters here.
     
Oil companies yesterday raised petrol prices by Rs 1.80 per litre, citing the impact of rupee depreciation on the cost of crude oil imports.
   
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday admitted the hike in petrol prices will have some impact on inflation, which is currently hovering close to the double-digit mark.
   
Soon after the hike was announced last night, BJP had alleged that the hike was yet another act of "midnight deceit" by the UPA and insisted that the common man would not spare the dispensation led by the "economist" Prime Minister for its arrogance.

Left parties in red over petrol price hike

Lashing out at the UPA government for hiking petrol prices, the Left parties asked all their state units to launch nationwide protests saying the move was a major factor responsible for fuelling prices of essential commodities.

"Government's deregulation of petrol pricing is responsible for fuelling hike of essential commodities and inflation," the CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.

"The hoax of the pricing according to the market has been exposed as international oil prices have fallen considerably in the recent period," it said, adding the Congress-led coalition "has once again displayed its shocking callousness at the plight of the people".

The food inflation rate touched 12.21 per cent the day the petrol prices were raised by Rs. 1.80 per litre, the party said and asked its units to launch united protests, including mass picketing, across the country.

The CPI Secretariat also condemned the petrol price hike, terming it "unjustified" and said the prices of essential commodities were already high and were going up.
"This increase will add additional burden on the common people", it said, demanding immediate withdrawal of the increase in the prices of petrol.

Noting that petrol prices were raised after the Petroleum Ministry announced moves to hike diesel and cooking gas prices against, CPI-M leader Nilotpal Basu said the Government was "totally insensitive" to the miseries of the people.

"The taxation policy of hydro-carbon is totally anti-people. Due to ad valorem taxes when the prices of petrol increases, tax collection rises even more," he said.

CPI leader D Raja said the hike was a big blow to the "aam aadmi" at a time when food inflation had reached double digit.

TN parties flay Centre 's move

Political leaders in Tamil Nadu flayed the Centre for the petrol price hike, saying it had "no concern for the people."

"Price of petrol was last hiked in September. An increase within the next two months is unjustified and condemnable," MDMK leader Vaiko said.

The latest revision of prices showed that there was no end to the "anti-people approach" of the Centre, he said.

"A Congress government which is incapable of retrieving black money is burdening the common people by increasing fuel prices.This increase should be immediately withdrawn," he demanded.

Demanding an immediate rollback in the hike, PMK founder S Ramadoss charged the Centre with showing no concern for the common people as prices had been revised by Rs 20 in the last 15 months.

"When the Manmohan Singh government assumed power in 2004, petrol cost Rs 36.79 per litre but has now doubled to over Rs 72," he said and alleged that Centre's "wrong" economic policies was the reason for such a situation.

Karnataka urges roll back

The BJP government in Karnataka ruled out slashing of cess on petrol following the hike in price and urged the Centre to withdraw the price hike.

"There is no proposal before the government to reduce cess on petrol. I will write to the Centre urging it to roll back the hike", Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said while speaking to reporters here.

"The question of reducing petrol price should be addressed to the Centre, which has been resorting to frequent hikes," he said when if the state would come to the rescue of people by reducing cess.

Gowda said the State Government Employees Association has sought a hike in interim relief from 12.5 per cent to 15 per and that he would take a decision in a week after consulting Finance Department officials.

He said BJP has not yet decided on its candidate for the November 30 bye-election to Bellary Rural Assembly seat, a vacancy caused following the resigation by former minister and mining magnate B Sreeramulu. "We are still in the process of discussing the issue", he said.

The party is toying with the idea of fielding Sreeramulu, who resigned his Assembly membership over a month ago, reportedly unhappy over denial of ministerial berth following his indictment in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

Sources close to Sreeramulu said he has been insisting on a ministerial berth if he wins the seat.

UDF in Kerala fumes over Centre's decision

The Congress-led UDF government in Kerala opposed the petrol price hike by oil companies and demanded that the Centre take back their powers to fix prices of petroleum products.

Replying to the notice for an adjournment motion moved by CPI-M led LDF Opposition in the Assembly, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the hike in price should have been avoided as it would only push up prices of other essential products.

"The government is of the view that right to regulate price of petroleum products should vest with the Centre," he said.

 Chandy said this is the third increase in petrol prices in recent times. On earlier occasions, the state government had waived tax on petrol, leading to Rs 396 crore revenue loss for the state, he said.

 The Chief Minister assured the House that government would do everything possible to lessen the burden of common man by effectively intervening in the open market.

 Moving notice for the motion, Former Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac said there is no credible reason for the UPA government to raise petrol price.

The House decided to take up the issue for a two-hour discussion, which will be held in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, activists of Left parties and BJP held protest marches across the state, demanding roll back of petrol price and to take back powers of oil companies to fix the price.

 

(Agencies)