Kolkata/Jalgaon: Ratcheting up pressure on the Government to rollback petrol price hike, MPs of Trinamool Congress, which has threatened to pull out of Government, will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday even as another key ally, NCP, backed him on the issue.

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"After a talk with the Prime Minister, we'll return here (Kolkata)on November 9 and report to party supremo Mamata Banerjee who will take the final call", Chief Whip of the Trinamool Congress parliamentary party in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhyay said on Sunday.

"I have sent a letter to the PMO seeking an appointment with the premier on November 08. I am expecting that the appointment will be fixed on November 08 since the PMO told me that he will be abroad on November 09", said Bandyopadhyay, also Union Minister of State for Health.

In Jalgaon (Maharashtra), NCP chief Sharad Pawar backed the government on the issue.

"There is no point in blaming the Government for increase in the domestic prices (of fuel) as they are related to fluctuations in the international markets," Pawar said defending the Prime Minister on deregulation of the fuel prices.

On Trinamool Congress' threat to withdraw from the Government, Pawar said, "Our stand is to remain with the Government."

Asked to comment on the Prime Minister's remarks on deregulation, Pawar said Singh was an economist of international repute. "I am not a super economist to comment on what the Prime Minister has stated," he said.

Singh has defended the hike in petrol prices, saying there should be further movement towards deregulation of fuel prices.

Bandyopadhyay said he would leave for Delhi on Monday and other Trinamool MPS would be reaching the capital on November 08.

"We'll express our concern to the Prime Minister. There is huge lack of co-ordination among the constituents in the UPA. No meeting is held with the allies before taking policy decisions. We want to express our sentiments to the Prime Minister.”

"We are a pro-people party. Fuel prices were hiked 11 times in 12 months", he said.

Banerjee has threatened to quit the UPA on the contentious issue. With her 18 Lok Sabha MPs, Banerjee is the Congress' second largest ally of the UPA.

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi is the only Cabinet Minister from the party. Other Trinamool ministers are Mukul Roy, Sudeep Bandopadhyay, Saugata Roy, CM Jatua, Sisir Adhikari and Sultan Ahmed.

State-owned oil companies had on Friday increased the price of petrol by Rs. 1.80 per litre, the second raise in less than two months. The hike in petrol prices led to allegations of a "midnight massacre" by the BJP.

The hike has also come under flak from Mayawati in UP, J Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu and  leaders of several other political parties.

Centre responsible for price hike: Nitish

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday condemned the recent hike in petrol price and blamed the Centre's 'faulty policy' for the price spiral across the country.

"Increase in prices of petrol and diesel causes rise in inflation ... The price rise has hit hard the common man," he said adding in the neighhbouring countries prices of petrol and diesel were comparatively lower than those in India.

"It must be researched why prices of commodities were going up day-by day. How come the prices of petroleum products are being allowed to go up constantly ... It is crying for an answer," he said in Patna.

Kumar demanded that UPA government rollback the hike in petrol prices and added, "We know a fact that whenever the Congress comes to power, prices go up steadily."

Venkaiah slams UPA over price hike

Criticising the Congress-led Union government over the recent hike in petrol prices, senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said his party would take up the issue during the Winter Session of the Parliament.

The former BJP chief also called upon the UPA alliance partners to mount pressure on the government, to compel it to roll back the hike.

"The UPA partners cannot escape from owning up the responsibility for the rising fuel and fertiliser prices as well as increasing bank loan and housing loan interest rates. Now, time has come for the alliance partners to prove whether they are with the government that is steeped in corruption or with the people," Naidu told a press conference in Hyderabad on Sunday.

"Wrong economic policies of the UPA government are causing hardships to people, as prices of all commodities are shooting up. Any further hike in the prices of these items would put additional burden on the common man," he said.

The BJP would hold a meeting on November 21 in Delhi to chalk out a strategy for the upcoming Parliament session, he said.

JPN/Agencies