Two days ahead of her party’s protest rally in New Delhi against the economic reforms announced by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Trinamool Congress chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in an indictment of the Centre said on Saturday that a loot is on in the name of reforms.
Ms. Banerjee left for the capital in the evening. She will lead the rally and address a gathering at Jantar Mantar on October 1. The protest is against the Centre’s decision to allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, hike in the diesel prices and reducing the subsidies on cooking gas.
“Reforms are meant to usher in development for the people. The trend, nowadays, is whenever any anti-people decision is taken, it is taken in the name of reforms. In the name of reforms and ‘aam aadmi,’ ‘loot cholchhe, loot,’ [there is a loot going on],” Ms. Banerjee posted on her Facebook page, minutes before taking Air India’s Dreamliner to New Delhi.
Soon after her decision to withdraw from the UPA government, Ms. Banerjee has been targeting the UPA government on reforms calling them “anti-people.”
Her leaving for New Delhi two days before the scheduled protests has led to speculation that she might holds talks with other political parties opposing the UPA government’s policies.
While announcing the protest rally, she had urged people to assemble in large numbers “to fight the battle boldly and unitedly” so that the Centre reconsidered its decision.
A majority of the Trinamool Congress MPs, both from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, will be present during the protests. Senior Trinamool Congress leader and State Transport Minister Madan Mitra said Ms. Banerjee’s visit to New Delhi is to resist the “fascist” policies of the Congress.
Ms. Banerjee’s protests against the Centre have invited strong criticism from Congress leaders who attributed them to her growing “national ambitions.”
“Ms. Banerjee is now keen to project herself as the leader of the country and not limit herself only to West Bengal. We will ensure that she is not able to derive any political mileage out of the situation,” Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.