NEW DELHI: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday said it would be forced to take a “hard decision” if the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government fails to change its decision on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and the hike in diesel price.
Trinamool leader and Minister of State for Urban Development Saugata Roy said party chief Mamata Banerjee will convene a meeting of the parliamentary party to take a final call on the issue.
On Friday, Banerjee chief gave the government 72 hours to “rethink” its decision on allowing FDI in retail and the diesel price hike.
“She (Banerjee) has given 72 hours to the central government to modify, change its decision in regard to cancellation of diesel price hike, the cap on supply of LPG cylinders and introducing FDI in retail.
“If there is no response from the central government by that time, the Trinamool Congress will sit and take a hard decision,” Roy told Times Now channel.
He said the timing of Tuesday’s parliamentary party meeting has not been fixed yet.
Party MP Kunal Ghosh had said earlier that the parliamentary party was meeting on Tuesday to decide on withdrawing support to the UPA government and to instead support it from outside.
“As of now the time of the parliamentary party meeting has not been fixed, we will sit together and take a decision. This involves not only our party but also concerns the people.
“Trinamool in past also opposed fuel price hike whether it be of petrol or diesel. It is a serious matter... Trinamool has taken it very seriously,” Roy said.
The Trinamool is an important constituent of the ruling UPA.
Earlier, Ghosh said Mamata has convened a meeting of the parliamentary party on Tuesday to take a final call in this regard.
“We have opposed the anti-people decisions taken by the government and Trinamool parliamentary party will meet on Tuesday.
“We will review the situation and take appropriate decision,” Ghosh said.
The government decided to allow up to 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, which Banerjee has been fiercely against.
Ghosh said the party was keeping all its “options open.”
Meanwhile, Rashid Alvi, Congress spokesperson expressed confidence about sorting out the matter with the Trinamool chief.
“It is an internal matter, Mamataji is a respected leader of the government, we do not want to make any comment. Even if we have some differences we will sort it out,” he said.
Trinamool has 19 MPs in the Lok Sabha and six ministers in the UPA government at the centre.
Reacting to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s remark that “public memory is short” and “the coal mines allocations will be forgotten like Bofors,” the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said people will not forget the issue till the 2014 general elections.
Shinde had made the remark in Pune on Saturday.
“People will not forget the coal blocks issue in the 2014 general elections,” Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Praksh Karat told reporters in Kolkata.
The BJP had not allowed parliament’s monsoon session to run over the coal blocks allocation issue.
“The Congress’ hand will remain blackened till 2014 due to the coal issue. They should worry about their government,” BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
Congress leader Anil Shastri admitted that “public memory is short but if people believe the government has done something wrong, they forget the issue only after teaching a lesson to the government.”
In Mumbai, around 10,000 people, some of them riding animal-drawn carts, on Sunday participated in a march organised by Shiv Sena to protest the hike in diesel price and restriction of subsidised cooking gas cylinders per family per year.
The protest march that started from Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai was led by Aditya Thackeray, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s grandson and the president of the youth wing of the party.
Indo-Asian News Service