Prices set to fuel heat in Monsoon Session

Rise in the fuel prices has set the tone for the Monsoon Session of Parliament next month. While the Congress allies in the Centre — Trinamul Congress, DMK,NCP and the National Conference — are failing to work as a pressure group on this sensitive issue and thus obliquely backing it, the role of Mandalite parties inside and outside Parliament will be interesting. They are unlikely to join the Opposition on it if one goes by their track record.

If the growing inflation and overall price rise have severely affected the purchasing power of aam aadmi in the last one year, the Congress working committee’s warnings to the government of checking the price rise earlier, have hardly changed the ground reality.
The BJP-led NDA, Left parties and the non Congress parties like — Biju Janata Dal, AIADMK, TDP and others are expected to take up this issue forcefully in the two Houses of Parliament, but the Samajwadi Party, BSP and the RJD may not join them. This is because they are backing the government from outside and had earlier helped it in defeating the cut motions in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session.
Political parties are assessing whether the price rise can become a major issues in the states like Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala going to the polls. The Opposition Congress and the RJD-LJP may not make this a major issue in Bihar facing the Assembly elections in the next four to five months as it would become counter-productive for them. But the Marxists who are in power in West Bengal and Kerala, would certainly put the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamul Congress and the Congress in the dock. This became clear following the Left’s strong reaction to the fuel price rise on Friday.
Meanwhile, replying to volley of questions on this issue, the Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters on Friday that Left parties scathing attack on the government over fuel price hike, is not going to help them in West Bengal (Assembly) elections.
“They make scathing attack on everything. But that is not going to help them in West Bengal (Assembly) elections,” she said.
In Patna, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav said we would hit the streets against the decision and asked other political parties to join the agitation.
“Bharat sarkar ki ulti giniti shru ho gai hai” (the countdown of the fall of the UPA government has begun), Mr Prasad said, adding, a movement would be launched from “sadak to Parliament”.

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