Centre should take responsibility to bring down fuel prices: Mamata
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the Centre should look into the issue of surging fuel prices not from a political angle but from a commoner's point of view.
The everyday rise in petrol and diesel prices is causing severe inconvenience to the common people, Banerjee said.
Addressing a press conference after reaching Santiniketan on Thursday evening, she said: "All the political parties are urged to organise protest rallies against the steep rise in petrol and diesel prices."
She is in Santiniketan to be a part of the Visva-Bharati convocation, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina will also be present.
Banerjee, who attended the swearing-in ceremony of JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru on Wednesday, had a discussion over the issues with chiefs of most of the anti-BJP political parties who were also present during the oath-taking ceremony.
Stating that there is need to initiate nationwide protests against the hike in petrol and diesel prices, Banerjee said: "I requested all to build up a protest against it. I spoke to Sonia Gandhi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav in this connection. The discussion took place over tea after the oath-taking ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy."
This comes at the time when the Chief Minister has given a call for a one-is-to-one fight against the BJP in the 2019 general elections with all anti-BJP parties coming together to form a Federal Front.
She said that it was the issue related to hike in prices of petrol and diesel for which her party had withdrawn support from the UPA government.
When asked whether she would raise the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the convocation programme on Friday, she replied that it would not be the correct platform to do so. "But the issue will be raised if there is any opportunity for the same," she said.
Banerjee said petrol and diesel prices are at an all-time high and it would lead to harassment of common people as prices of essential goods would increase as well. "The prices of petrol and diesel are sky high and it will leave an adverse effect on the farmers," she said, adding that her political party has already given a call for a statewide protest rally. There will be a rally in Kolkata on Friday and the statewide protest will take place on Saturday.