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Updated: February 24, 2010 17:19 IST

Mamata upset over budget being branded ‘Bengal-centric’

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Union Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee arrives at Parliament House to present the Budget.
PTI Union Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee arrives at Parliament House to present the Budget.

Dismissing suggestions that the Railway Budget was West Bengal-centric, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said those raising the issue are “humiliating” the state and advised journalists not to ask “politically manipulative” questions.

“Do not humiliate (West) Bengal by parroting it,” Ms. Banerjee said, on being asked whether special attention has been given in the Budget for her home state with an eye on Assembly elections next year.

“Your question is totally politically manipulative,” she said in an outburst during her post-budget media briefing.

Ms. Banerjee, who was repeatedly interrupted by MPs in the Lok Sabha during her speech, said she cannot “satisfy 800 people (MPs)... I have given wagon industry to Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Guwahati.” The maximum number of projects have been given to other states, she said.

However, Ms. Banerjee said West Bengal “cannot be left out from development” and she has to take up the cause of the state like other ministers do for theirs. “Do you think Bengal should be left out from the development?” she asked.

The major announcements relating to West Bengal are in regard to expansion of Kolkata Metro Network, port connectivity, proposed introduction of Sanskriti Express to mark 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore as also Bharat Teerth trains. More superfast non-stop Duronto trains would be introduced for the state.

Besides, West Bengal figures prominently in other plans like new lines and doublings of tracks.

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