Stating that her government will not pay interest on loans taken from the Centre, Trinamool Congress chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Saturday that she will ask the masses to march to Delhi, if the Centre does not concede her demand for a three-year-moratorium on interest payments.
“I want to tell Delhi [the Centre] that they should not neglect the interest of the people of Bengal. If required I will urge the people of the State to march to Delhi. We will not pay interest,” she said, addressing a huge public rally organised by the Trinamool in the city. .
Ms. Banerjee said that she does not want any money or special package for West Bengal, but only the three-year moratorium on interest payments.
“We will wait for some more days. I will be grateful if I get it. Else, all our 28 MPs along with 186 MLAs and four legislators of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will go to the Prime Minister,” she said adding that the State’s people are not begging for anything from the Centre.
Claiming that all the revenue generated by the State is being taken away by the Centre, she said her party will not allow “people’s rights to be snatched away.”
“People of Bengal have the strength to go to Delhi and make them concede our demands,” she said.
Ms. Banerjee said that till now the Trinamool had fought the ‘anarchy’ of the previous government led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist). But now the party’s struggle will be against the “Centre’s deprivation,” she said.
She said that since her government’s tenure began, she and the State's Finance Minister Amit Mitra had repeatedly requested the Centre and visited Delhi a number of times. She also blamed the Centre for allowing the previous Left Front government to borrow heavily, which had resulted in the present financial crisis.
Ms. Banerjee urged her supporters to explain to the people that if the State government had Rs. 22,000 crore in its account, Rs. 25,000 crore would go for loan repayment.
She reiterated that her government inherited a debt burden worth Rs. 2.03 lakh crore from the previous Left Front government and despite financial constraints, it was working for the people through a number of development plans, which were getting hampered due to the funds crunch.