Differences in UPA egg opposition on to target government

New Delhi, Feb 28 (Calcutta Tube) With some allies of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ranged against any hike in fuel prices, the opposition is ganging up in Parliament against the government on the issue of inflation.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Basudeb Acharia said a meeting of Left parties, Samajwadi Party (SP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and some other ‘secular parties’ has been convened March 3, when parliament meets after a four-day break, to decide the course of action against price rise and budget decisions of the government.

‘We will launch a countrywide agitation,’ Acharia told IANS.

He said the Telugu Desam Party, the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal will also be invited for the meeting.

Asked about the realignment of political forces and emergence of a third front with the Left in the vanguard, Acharia said the CPI-M has always believed that any such formation should emerge from agitations for the cause of the people.

While the SP and RJD, who extend outside support to the government, Friday joined the opposition walkout during the presentation of the general budget and oppose the restoration of central tax on petrol and diesel, two allies of the ruling UPA have also demanded a rollback.

The Trinamool Congress and the DMK Saturday demanded that the hike in central tax on petrol and diesel should be withdrawn.

Buoyed by differences in the UPA, the BJP will target the government.

‘It is clear that majority of MPs (parliamentarians) are against hike in price of petroleum products,’ BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar told IANS.

The BJP, Left and the SP have also decided to move cut motions against the financial proposals of the government.

Asked about the possibility of floor coordination between the BJP and the Left, Javadekar said: ‘Whatever is happening in the house (Lok Sabha) is spontaneous because of anti-people policies of the ruling party.’

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is yet to reply to the discussion on price rise in the Rajya Sabha and the opposition is likely to seize the opportunity to embarrass the government over remarks of its own allies on the issue.

The Congress sought to play down the demands from its allies.

Party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said it was for the government to look into the issues raised by the UPA allies. ‘The government can take a decision in its wisdom, based on the demands from allies and its own feedback,’ Ahmed said.

Asked about the possibility of its allies and supporting partners voting alongside the opposition against the government, Ahmed said: ‘That stage will not come.’

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