UPA's largest ally Trinamool Congress on Friday strongly protested the unilateral petrol price hike, but said it has not taken any decision to pull out of the government and entrusted party supremo Mamata Banerjee to have the 'final word' on the issue.
"The Trinamool Congress parliamentary party registers its strong protest with the UPA government for keeping allies in the dark while taking such a decision which has angered the people," party Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay told reporters after an emergency meeting.
"No decision was taken to pull out of the government. We will report back to party chief Mamata Banerjee. Whatever decision will be taken by her," Bandopadhyay said when asked if the party would pull out of the UPA government.
"Our party chief Mamata Banerjee is angry that she was not consulted and UPA's largest ally was kept in the dark. The way in which the petrol price hike was effected, was opposed by our party," Bandopadhyay said.
Maintaining that it was difficult for the Trinamool Congress to accept the petrol price hike, he said, "We are deeply concerned as it has affected the common man."
The meeting, held at Trinamool Bhavan, was attended by all party Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members, besides Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi and union ministers of state and chaired by all-India general secretary and minister of state for Shipping Mukul Roy.
Bandopadhyay earlier said that the "lack of coordination" in the UPA was manifest in the unilateral decisions that the Centre was taking on vital issues.
The Trinamool parliamentary party leader said the party's suggestion for a meeting with UPA allies at least once in two or three months had not been heeded.
Yet another act of "midnight deceit" by UPA: BJP
At the same time, the BJP has alleged that the hike in petrol prices is yet another act of "midnight deceit" by the UPA and insisted that the common man would not spare the dispensation led by the "economist" prime minister for its arrogance.
"This is yet another midnight deceit with the people of India. The Congress party has unleashed a terror of a different kind on the common man. While the Congress completely remains insensitive the prime minister and the government have once again cheated the people," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
He pointed out that this hike of Rs 1.82 per litre of petrol has come at a time when the country is already reeling under a whopping food inflation which has remained untamed for the last three years and overall inflation remains unabated.
"The government cannot be spared anymore and it is high time to crush their arrogance. The BJP wonders whether this repeated raising of prices in the last three months by over Rs 7, is a reaction against the middle class raising a pitch and a banner of revolt against corruption," Rudy said.
He maintained that these appear to be attempts by the Congress led government to teach the common man a lesson.
"The BJP is of a firm opinion that the economist PM has shamed the nation once again," Rudy said.
Oil marketing companies on Thursday raised petrol prices by Rs 1.80 per litre effective from midnight, just over a month and a half since the last hike.
The latest petrol price rise -- the 11th time since June 2010 -- comes over and above a steep upward revision of Rs 3.14 a litre on Sep 15, 2011.