Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat on Friday described as “peculiar” the pattern of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee pleading ignorance every time a fuel hike was announced and saying she was opposed to the move even as her party, a constituent of the ruling UPA, failed to attend the meetings where the crucial decisions were taken.

“There is some sort of match fixing in this. They [the Trinamool Congress] say, ‘you [the Congress] go ahead [with the imposition of the hike], we will say we did not know anything about this.’ This is the approach the Trinamool-led State government has adopted,” Mr. Karat said, speaking at a function in the city to mark the birth centenary of P. Sunderayya, first CPI(M) general secretary.

“They [the Trinamool] say we were not told; we were not consulted; we are opposed to it. But there was a meeting of the Cabinet Committee for Political Affairs and on the agenda were increase in diesel prices and limiting the subsidy for LPG cylinders. The Trinamool representative in the Cabinet [Railway Minister Mukul Roy], who is a member of the CCPA, did not attend that meeting.”

Mr. Karat said the Trinamool pleaded ignorance of the proposed hike even after the agenda of the meeting had been published in the media.

“If they were opposed to it, the Minister should have gone to the CCPA. They should have blocked it in the Cabinet.” The Congress, he said, did not have a majority and could not proceed with a decision if any of the allies opposed it.

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