Crores of citizens will welcome the exit of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress from the UPA government. Ms Banerjee opposed the government’s move to usher in reforms saying it was inimical to her political ideology of “maa, maati, manush.” But I strongly suspect that she herself does not know the economic logic of her slogan, if her one-year performance as West Bengal Chief Minister is anything to go by.
The editorial “Mamata’s revolt” and Harish Khare’s article “An opportunity, not a crisis” (Sept. 20), give divergent perspectives. Mr. Khare’s arguments must be music to the Prime Minister’s ears. The editorial gives a more balanced perspective and goads the FDI-smitten government to be clearheaded. It was the TMC that routed the Left in West Bengal, not the Congress. Ms Banerjee is cleaner and more reliable than mercurial Mulayam Singh and Mayawati for whom policies are disposable papers.
The editorial was right in saying that Ms Banerjee was “pushed to the brink by those in the Centre who callously assumed she would go against the interests of her core constituency.” By allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, the UPA government has paved the way for the destruction of the livelihoods of thousands of small retailers. Giant retail malls are for the wealthy. The poor depend on small traders who give them even credit facilities when they are in need.