Reacting to the Union Cabinet’s decisions on foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance and pensions, Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that the Centre had “crossed the laxman rekha” and it was imperative that the government falls. She appealed to the allies of the Congress to “come out and oppose these moves” in the greater interest of the country.
Ms. Banerjee, who had decided to pull out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre in protest again the hike in diesel price, cap on annual subsidised LPG cylinders for households and FDI in multi-brand retail, announced last month, said that the decisions taken during the day were by “a minority government.”
Questioning the Centre’s motives, Ms. Banerjee reiterated her decision to move a no-confidence motion in Parliament and said that she would meet President Pranab Mukherjee on the matter. “The minority government cannot play such [an] immoral role. Let us move [a] no-confidence motion. We have decided to meet the Honourable President on this issue,” she said on her Facebook page.
Ms. Banerjee said that in the interest of the nation it is imperative that “this government must go.”
“Is it the intention of the UPA Government to sell out the country? We should unitedly oppose all such moves and will not allow the government to be bailed out after a series of such anti-people decisions,” she said adding that the reforms are “immoral and unethical.” Ms. Banerjee said that increasing FDI from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in the insurance sector and introducing 26 per cent FDI in the pension sector “will make the lifelong savings of individuals totally insecure.”
Earlier in the day, she addressed a public meeting at Sharishahat in the State’s South 24 Parganas district where she vowed that she will not allow the Centre to “increase the burden on the poor.”
“The way the Centre is allowing prices to rise, the poor are being burdened … As long as I am alive, I will not allow the poor to be burdened in this way,” she said. Ms. Banerjee emphasised that the Centre was responsible for the hike in prices of fuel, fertilizers and commodities. She also expressed concerns about the impact that the decision to restrict the number of annual subsidised LPG cylinders to six a year will have on the midday meal provided to children in State run schools.
The Centre has not thought of the poor schoolchildren provided with midday meals. There is a fear that these children may have to go without food in schools because of the enormous increase in price of LPG cylinders, Ms. Banerjee wrote earlier on Facebook . “In the name of reforms, loot chalche loot [ loot is on]. To suppress it, jhoot chalche jhoot [lies are being spread],” she said.