DMK, Trinamul may face heat

The Congress allies in the UPA, especially the DMK and the Trinamul Congress, could face the heat over the steep hike in petrol price ahead of the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
This hike has provided a major issue to the UPA adversaries — the Left and the AIADMK — in the upcoming electoral battle.
For Trinamul Congress chief, Mamata Banerjee, who is riding high on the anti-Left wave in West Bengal, the hike would certainly send out a wrong message to its political constituency in the state.
The Trinamul Congress’s formal protest on the hike may not help it politically as the party is not only sharing power with the Congress at the Centre but would fight the state Assembly polls in an alliance with the party.
The Left Front would put Ms Banerjee in the dock on the overall price rise and the increase in petrol price during the electoral battle. Her attempts to please the West Bengal electorates by announcing various schemes for the state in the coming railway budget, may not help much as the aam admi. has already been severely affected by price rise.
The Trinamul Congress is distancing itself from the hike. Its leader and the sitting Lok Sabha member Sudip Bandyopadhyay said: “It’s a simple issue. Trinamul has neither been consulted nor called for discussion over the petrol price hike. In fact, our leader Mamata Banerjee met Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee last evening at the airport and even there, the decision on hiking price was not communicated to her which has really hurt her. We are of the opinion that any such decision should be taken at the meeting of UPA II”.
The message is loud and clear. He is suggesting that the Trinamul is not a party to this decision taken by the Congress. But it will be interesting to see how the Trinamul members would chalk out their strategy to defend the party chief from the Left’s attack on this issue during the Budget session of Parliament.

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