Under attack from opposition and key UPA ally Trinamool Congress for the move to hike petro products, Congress today said the government must have been "constrained" to take the decision.
Party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters "we believe that government must have been constrained to take this decision and will ensure that the impact is cushioned to the maximum possible to the disadvantaged section."
Natarajan, who faced a volley of questions, reminded Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee that as Railway Minister she was also a party to the decision as the government decides any matter as a "collective court".
"I have no information what Mamata Banerjee has said. This is governmment decision I believe government takes the decision as collective court. Naturally, it is a decision of council of ministers", she said.
Steering clear of questions about possible rollback of the hike and whether party chief Sonia Gandhi had approved the decision, Natarajan said "I am speaking for the party and not the government. The decision has been taken by the government." To a question about its impact on prices, she said "we believe government has taken all these issues into consideration before going for a decision."
Asked whether the decision showed that the government does not care for the common man, she said "it is unfair to make such comments about the government which has the best intetrests of people in mind.
"We have always been concernd over the welfare of common man. We are very much aware of the effect of any economic measure like the fuel price hike.", she said in reply to another question. PTI