Congress faces ally heat on petro hike

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 16, 2011 07:33 hrs

New Delhi, Sept 16 (IBNS) DMK and Trinamool Congress, two of the biggest alliance partners of the Congress in the United Progressive Alliance government at the centre, are turning the heat on the Congress after a sudden petro price hike, forcing a postponement of a ministerial meeting on LPG cylinder subsidy cap.

They said they were not kept in the loop on the rise of petrol prices.

DMK, whose relations with Congress had been rough after the 2G scam arrests of their top leaders, boycotted a Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) meeting on LPG subsidies on Friday.

The government reportedly wanted to limit the number of subsidized LPG cylinders a tax-paying family can obtain.

M K Alagiri, who is a DMK minister in the UPA and a member of the EGoM, had earlier said he was not attending the ministers´ meet

Trinamool said they had objected to the rise and they heard the news of hike from media.

"We were not in the loop. We have protested before the finance minister," said Trinamool lawmaker Mukul Roy.

Petrol prices went up again from Thursday night, triggering bitter reactions from the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) alliance partners.

The second hike by the government in four months was effective from midnight owing to weakening of rupee against dollar.

Oil companies hiked the price by Rs 3.14/-.

The prices were raised by Rs 5 per litre in May this year.

Crude oil import gets costlier with the drop in rupee value. Rupee fell to 48 per USD now.

After the hike the petrol costs Rs 71.62 a litre in Mumbai, Rs 71.15 in Kolkata, Rs 70.64 in Chennai, Rs 74.50 in Bangalore and Rs 66.84 in Delhi.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said they would put pressure on the government to roll back the prices.

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