New Delhi: Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s displeasure over the new increase in petrol prices and her threat to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government that it was the Centre that needed her party’s support look to have forced the Union Government to have a rethink over the hike.
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the chief trouble-shooter for the Congress party, on Monday, met Mamata Banerjee for over an hour to confer a financial package for the state in a bid to placate her while the West Bengal Chief Minister once again threatened to quit the UPA.
“If prices of essential commodities go up, then the Trinamool will not stay with the UPA. The Prime Minister has told my MPs that there will be no rollback in petrol prices. It is a coalition. They cannot take decisions unilaterally. If they want other parties in the alliance instead of us, then we will move away,” said Mamata after the meeting.
The meeting between Pranab Mukherjee and Mamata Banerjee was held in Kolkata whereas members of the Trinamool Congress met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi to confer the latest hike in petrol prices. However, the TMC MPs did not raise the concern of quitting the alliance at their meeting with the Prime Minister.
Mamata is reported to be very upset with the ways the Congress has been treating her party and the demand for a financial package for the state. She wanted Rs 21,600 crore as a package but the Finance Minister, in command of the nation’s purse strings, said that he cannot allot more than Rs 9,000 crore. However, the Prime Minister could increase the amount to placate the Trinamool Chief.