Petrol and diesel prices
Indian Oil Corp reduces Aviation Turbine fuel prices. In Picture: [Representational Image].Reuters

The key allies of the UPA coalition like the Trinamool Congress and DMK have protested the Centre's decision to hike petrol by Rs 7.50 in effect from May 24 midnight.

Between 2011 and 2012, fuel prices were revised about five times, out of which prices were hiked three times and were scaled down two times. However, this time the hike of Rs 7.50 in the fuel price is the steepest revision so far.

The allies gave vent to their anger as they termed the decision "unilateral and unjust."  West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the ruling Congress had not consulted any of its allies on the decision.

Meanwhile, she ruled out the option of pulling out her support from the government, protesting this "unilateral" decision.

Mamata has repeatedly opposed many of the UPA government's policies, leading to several polices being put on the backburner by the Congress-led government.

"We are not like the CPM or other parties. We are for economic and political stability. Since we have a commitment to support the government, we are not exiting. But that does mean we will not protest what is wrong. What is going on is wrong, one-sided..." Mamata said.

Mamata demanded a immediate roll back of the price hike and commented on the opinion that the dive of the Indian rupee led to the 'inevitable' hike, "I think at present there is some major mismanagement in our country's economic system."

Former Tamil Nadu Minister CM Karunanidhi shared virtually a similar sentiment as that of Mamata's. He said that the partners are not being considered by the Congress before making such major decision and the DMK MPs would ask the Central leadership for the immediate roll-back of the price hike.

However, DMK chief Karunanidhi refrained from taking potshots like another allies and said that "such decision is taken by the Centre depending on the situation"

Meanwhile, SP leader Yadav, who is touted to be a possible strong ally in the coming years, said in a lighter vein that "it was a gift of the Centre to the people."

Yadav set political circles abuzz by demonstrating a cordial relationship with the Congress leaders in New Delhi. He shared the dais with Congress national leader PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi when UPA II government marked its anniversary on Tuesday. Yadav said, "The hike is the UPA's gift to the people on its completion of three years in office."

However, the UPA trouble-shooter and the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee blamed global uncertainties and the rising oil imports bill for the depreciation of the Indian currency that hit an all-time low of Rs 56.19 against the US dollar, mounting pressure on policymakers in tackling the economy challenges.

Pranab also drifted away from the decision of petrol price hike saying it was out of the government's hand as it no longer holds any control on them. He said, "The decision has been taken, petrol is a deregulated commodity."

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