Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat fired a salvo at the Trinamool Congress here on Sunday asking if the Left could stall Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, when they were providing outside support to the first United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre, why did the Trinamool fail to do so despite being the ruling coalition’s second largest constituent.

“If we could stop it for four years, why couldn’t the Trinamool Congress, whose representative is there in the Cabinet… they are there in the ministries, they are there in the CCPA [Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, which took the decision on diesel price hike]? Why didn’t they stop it then?” Mr. Karat asked journalists, to queries on Trinamool’s decision to oppose the government measure now.

Asked about Trinamool’s claims that the party was not informed about the Centre’s decision, Mr. Karat said that he failed to understand how anyone in Kolkata did not know that the Cabinet meeting was being held.

That the diesel price hike was on the agenda of the CCPA was known to the public, he said, pointing out that Union Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy had made a statement saying that he may have to take a painful decision.

“I do not understand how such major decisions are taken and how the collective responsibility of the Cabinet is discharged,” Mr. Karat said.

He said that when the Left provided support to the UPA government “the government couldn’t move on FDI in retail” because the Congress could not take its support for granted. “We managed to stop it,” he said.

“I cannot understand how a party that is in the Cabinet which takes such a decision is unable to stop it.”