Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee will lead a procession of the party activists and supporters in the city Saturday to mount pressure on the central government to roll back the petrol price hike.
However, her decision to hit the road has drawn criticism from the Congress, an ally of Trinamool in the central government, and the opposition Left Front.
“Nobody should try to score brownie points over the petrol price rise issue,” said state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya. But he refused to comment on the political procession. “It is the internal policy of respective parties.”
He said the Congress-led central government had no hand in the price hike. “The government is sensitive towards the masses. I have read in the newspapers that the prices may come down. The prices have been increased by oil companies due to rising prices in the international market.”
Earlier in the day, Left Front chairman Biman Bose called Banerjee’s decision to take out the procession against the petrol price hike a ploy to divert public attention.
Banerjee will walk a distance of seven km from Jadavpur to Hazra Crossing in south Kolkata around 5 p.m., Trinamool sources said.
Her decision to hit the road is being interpreted in political circles as an effort not to concede any space to her arch rival, the Left Front, which is also taking out protest rallies on the issue across the state starting Saturday.
The Trinamool Congress, the second-largest partner in the ruling United Progressive Alliance, took out a large procession Thursday to demand the withdrawal of the hike. It was led by Railway Minister Mukul Roy.
Keywords: West Bengal