West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee will lead a rally against the petrol price hike with party leaders and supporters in Kolkata on Saturday.
Mamata Banerjee will march from Jadavpur to Hazra in south Kolkata, covering a distance of 5 km to demand a rollback of the hike in petrol prices.
The UPA government on Wednesday hiked the petrol prices by more than seven rupees, drawing criticisms and protests from various political parties including key allies like Trinamool Congress. Mamata complained that the government did not consult her party before hiking the petrol price.
"We cannot accept the petrol price hike," NDTV quoted Mamata as saying.
"The government should not have allowed such an economic situation to come," she added.
This will be the second protest by the TMC after Railway Minister and TMC All-India general secretary Mukul Roy led a protest on Thursday against price hike. Roy, a close aide of Mamata, will also join the CM in today's March.
This is not the first time that Mamata Banerjee has gone against the policies of the Congress, raising speculations that all is not well between her and the Congress.
She openly criticized the Congress when the petrol price was hiked last year. Her party also opposed the move of the government to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail sector in the winter session of the parliament.
When the railway passenger fares were hiked in the annual railway budget, TMC also replaced Dinesh Trivedi with Mukul Roy as the Railway Minister.
She recently skipped the dinner party organized by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to celebrate the third anniversary of the UPA government's second term. Instead, she sent her close aide Mukul Roy for the dinner.
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was not an ally of the UPA, was seen sharing dais with the Prime Minister at the dinner party, raising many eyebrows and suggesting that the Congress may be ready to dump Mamata for Mulayam.
She also insisted her party workers to be ready for early poll, giving an indication that the UPA government may not complete five years in power, but then did a U-turn and said she wanted the UP-II government to complete its second term. Mamata also said she didn't want any political instability.
"We don't want political instability. We made a commitment and if we topple the government now, there will be political instability. We are not like the Left. But just because we aren't leaving, doesn't mean that we won't protest or we won't oppose," she said according to NDTV.
According to the TMC party sources, the state-wide protests against the price hike would also be organized at block-level on Sunday. Other parties will also hold protests againt the price hike on various days. While the DMK will stage demonstration across Tamil Nadu on May 30, the Samajwadi Party has called for a bandh in Uttar Pradesh on May 31.