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Key ally goes ballistic over Indian PM's oil price hike


Bad PM, bad! Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee (shown here at a 2011 campaign rally) scolded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his move to hike India's petrol prices on Thursday. Economists argue the move was needed to stop the plunging rupee and get India's economy back on track. But if Banerjee withdraws support for Singh's United Progressive Alliance, India may be headed for early polls.



Bad PM, bad!  Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee -- a key ally for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government -- blew a gasket over a surprise hike in petrol prices on Thursday.

But so far it's all bark and no bite, as she also said she won't withdraw support for the government, reports.

“It is all financial mismanagement. We don’t know what the economic situation is. They don’t discuss with us,” a visibly upset Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata, according to the website.

“We would not withdraw support because this would be another economic burden on the country. Only for economic and political stability we will support the government. But support does not mean we won’t protest.”

That's like waving a gun after showing everybody it isn't loaded. But it may nevertheless head off further moves to raise prices on diesel and kerosene.