Trinamool MPs want to quit UPA, Mamata says wait
Friday November 04, 2011 05:31:22 PM,
Congress MPs Friday threatened to pull out of the UPA government
to protest the "repeated unilateral decisions" to raise prices of
petro products and coal but chief Mamata Banerjee kept the
decision pending and requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a
meeting after his return from Cannes.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's decision came after
the Trinamool Congress parliamentary party expressed deep concern
over the repeated petrol price hikes, saying it was "unacceptable"
for the party to be kept in the dark before such moves are
"All junior and senior MPs and central ministers have given in
writing that things cannot go on like this. They say if the
government continues like this then we can't be partners. Our MPs
say 'we are in favour of quitting the government and also as
alliance partner'," Banerjee told reporters after the meeting of
the parliamentary party.
"We have one cabinet minister. We also have six ministers of state
who are not given due importance," Banerjee, a key ally of the
United Progressive Alliance, said.
With 18 Lok Sabha MPs, the Trinamool is the second largest
constituent of the Congress-led UPA government at the centre.
The Trinamool chief said she had spoken to union ministers Jairam
Ramesh and Anand Sharma to convey her party's resentment.
"I told Anand Sharma that such a decision (to raise the prices)
should not have been taken when the PM is abroad. Now if we decide
to pull out then the government will fall. I do not want to take
any such extreme decision when the prime minister is out of the
"Let the prime minister return. Then we will seek an appointment
on Nov 8, 9 or 10. If he gives an appointment, all central
ministers and MPS belonging to the Trinamool will meet him."
Banerjee alleged her party was not being given any importance
before vital decisions of the government were announced.
"In West Bengal, the Trinamool has two-third majority in the
assembly. But still we work together with the Congress. But at the
centre we are not consulted.
"We have been demanding for over two years for a coordination or
mechanism to discuss such things. But nobody listens to us."
The resentment was echoed by other party leaders.
"There is a feeling that these decisions are taken by keeping us
in the complete dark. It is totally unacceptable," Minister of
State for Health and Lok Sabha member Sudip Bandopadhyay said.
A Trinamool leader said the party was never consulted before
important decisions, which have a direct bearing on the lives of
the common people.
Oil marketing companies Thursday raised petrol prices by Rs.1.80
per litre effective midnight, just over a month-and-a-half since
the last hike of Rs.3.14 a litre on Sep 15.
The latest hike is the 11th since June 2010.
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