Lashing out at the Centre for failing to help West Bengal at the time of a financial crisis, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that the Centre has been very “clever” in the manner in which the recent price hike of diesel.
“They (the Centre) has been so clever in hiking the price of diesel that they little subsidy they used to provide to the transport sector will also not be provided,” Ms. Banerjee said at a rally at Amdanga in the State’s North 24 Parganas district.
“Sad, bad, very sad… very bad … and very very… what not!” she later posted on her facebook page while commenting on “yet another anti-people decision (that) has been taken by the UPA Government.”
“I have also come to know that the decision has been conveyed through a ‘secret’ communication. What is ‘secret’ about price rise, which affects the common people? This is nothing but cheating”, wrote, while demanding an immediate roll back.
At Amdanga Ms. Banerjee said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had relentlessly increased the prices of diesel, petrol, LPG, fertilizers, kerosene and Railway fares while the Trinamool Congress government had not hiked any prices, “barring the Re. 1 hike in bus fares.”
Taking up the refrain that she was running the government under considerable constraints, Ms. Banerjee said that not only had the Centre not provided any financial help it was also not allowing her government to borrow from the market.
“Already there is a huge debt burden and they (the Centre) are not even allowing us to borrow money. When the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led government incurred this debt burden there were no restrictions and now that we have come we are told we cannot borrow any more,” she said.
Ms. Banerjee said that the amount paid to the Centre as repayment of interest was Rs. 26,000 crores, but the State government’s revenue were only Rs. 21,000 crores.
“How am I managing? I have managed to increase our income by Rs. 10,000 crores,” she said.
Alleging a collusion between the Congress, the CPI(M) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in attempts to discredit the Trinamool Congress, Ms. Banerjee also claimed that a section of the media was also conspiring against her.