Kolkata, Nov 9 (IANS) West Bengal's Left Front Wednesday termed as 'meaningless' the Trinamool Congress' opposition to the petrol price hike and asked why the party did not protest when petroleum prices were taken out of state control last year.
State Left Front Chairman Biman Bose, addressing newspersons, also said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) central government has no control over petrol prices after the de-regulation.
'Trinamool's opposition to petrol price hike is useless because the UPA government, of which Trinamool is also an ally, deregulated the prices of petrol last year. Now the central government has no control over the petrol prices. Trinamool at that time did not protest against deregulation, what is use of protesting now,' Bose told a media conference here.
Bose also slammed the Congress-led UPA government for overlooking the interests of the common man and facilitating more profits for the corporate houses.
'The control of price rise of oil has been given to oil companies in June last year in a cabinet meeting. This decision was taken to facilitate profit of oil companies. At that time I did not see any comment by Trinamool protesting against it. If deregulation policy could have been blocked then only we could have asked the government not to raise the price,' Bose said.
'All alliance partners have to take their share of the responsibility for such decisions,' said Bose.
Bose also criticised the central government for not reducing the prices of petrol when the prices have come down in the international market.
Trinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday served a fresh ultimatum of walking out if petro-product prices were raised again. Her threat came even as the prime minister ruled out a rollback of the latest petrol rate hike and remained non-committal on future rate revisions of cooking gas, diesel and kerosene.
When asked to comment on the threat issued by Trinamool regarding withdrawal of support to the central government, Bose said 'It is their internal matter. We have nothing to say. They (Trinamool) are partners of UPA-2. Whether they stay with them or cut off all ties it's up to them to decide. We will not comment on it.'
Reacting to a report in a national daily alleging that Mamata Banerjee had stormed a police station Sunday night and forced the release of two members of her party, Bose termed it an 'unprecedented' incident in the state.
'She is not only chief minister of the state but also the home minister. She could have talked to senior police officials; but going to a police station to release party activists is totally unbecoming of a chief minister. A chief minister should behave like a chief minister and not like a student leader,' said Bose
'This really is a regrettable incident for the prestige of our state,' Bose said.
Incidentally, CPI-M's mouthpiece 'Ganashakti' in its report Monday also did not blame Banerjee for forcing release of her party activists from a police station.
Bose announced that the Left Front will undertake a continuous protest programme against the ongoing political violence and price rise from Nov 11-20. The Left Front will also take up a 'law violation' protest in each and every district from Nov 21- 25.
The Left Front will also organise a massive rally and 'law disobedience' in Kolkata Nov 28.