Trinamool, CITU demonstrate against petrol price hike

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Kolkata, Jan 17 (PTI) In a bid to outdo each other,UPA ally Trinamool Congress, which has declared it was unawareof the hike in petrol prices, took to the streets, while theruling CPI(M)''s trade union wing CITU called a three-hourtransport strike in the metropolis, gridlocking traffic today.

"On January 19, a delegation of Trinamool Congress MPswill meet the Prime Minister and inform him that we areworried about the price rise," Trinamool Congress MP SudipBandopadhyay told newspersons while leading a rally hereagainst the hike.

The meeting will follow a rally at the Jantar Mantarin Delhi against spiralling prices of essentials anddeteriorating law and order in West Bengal, he said.

The party also held block-wise protests against thepetrol price rise and the skyrocketing prices of essentialcommodities during the day.

Bandopadhyay did not spare the Left Front governmentsaying "the state cannot shirk its responsibility, it also hasa role in not being able to control the unbridled rise inprices of essentials."

The Trinamool chief had yesterday said that she wasunaware of the hike in petrol prices and that the CPI(M)-ledLeft Front government in the state felt elated every timeprices were increased as it gave it an opportunity to gainfrom increased excise and cess.

Coinciding with the Trinamool rally, a three-hourtransport strike was called by CPI(M)''s trade union wing CITUfrom noon on the same issue.

CITU leader Shyamal Chakraborti, addressing a rally oftransport workers at Esplanade in the heart of the city, said"it cannot be believed" that the Trinamool Congress leadershipwas unaware of the rise in the price of petrol.

"They are helping the Congress to do whatever theywant. Mamata Banerjee met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee atthe airport on the evening of the petrol price rise. It cannotbe believed that she was kept in the dark," he said.

Ironically, commercial vehicles run on diesel, thoughthe protest was against the price rise of petrol.

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