Centre a cruel government, Gujarat will never rule Bengal — Mamata
Kolkata, Feb. 8 (PTI): Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday slammed the Centre calling it “a cruel government” for its meagre advance to the state after Cyclone Amphan and said “Gujarat will never be able to rule Bengal”.
Speaking on the last day of the concluding session of the 16th West Bengal assembly, Banerjee also took on the Opposition for criticising her vote-on-account and saying it was done with an eye on the polls.
The fiesty Trinamool Congress supremo, who was speaking at the debate on the INR 2.99 lakh crore vote-on- account presented by her, said even if it was so it was done for the welfare of the people and claimed that her party would return to power in the state in the coming assembly poll.
“Even if it (the vote-on-account) is what the opposition is saying, where is the problem? It is for the welfare of the people. Some are saying we are there for a few days. We will be back with a huge mandate”, she asserted.
To Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s criticism of her government during his visit to the state on Monday, Banerjee lashed out saying she has never seen asuch a “cruel” government as the one headed by him at the Centre.
“Now that polls are round the corner in West Bengal, it seems that there is nothing else for BJP but Bengal. In this election all its leaders and ministers are coming to places in the state of which they do not even know.
“Gujarat will never be able to rule Bengal,” she said in an apparent reference to the visit of Modi and those by Amit Shah, who is scheduled to visit the state later this week.
Criticising the BJP-led government at the Centre, she said the prime minister during his visit to the state after the devastating cyclone Amphan had announced a mere INR 1000 crore.
“That money too was given as advance. I have never seen such a cruel government. We had to spend more than INR 2542 crore over and above the last budget to meet the situation due to Cylone Amphan and Covid-19,” she said a presented a supplementary budget on it.
On opposition’s allegations of mass corruption in the distribution of relief post-Amphan, she conceded that there may have been some errors but they were corrected.
“Now that polls are round the corner in the state, it seems that there is nothing else for BJP but Bengal. In this election all its leaders and ministers are coming to places in the state which they do not even know of”.
Banerjee said she will inaugurate a total 19 projects in the state on Monday and Tuesday at an investment of INR 72200 crore and create employment oppurtunity for 3.2 lakh people.
The session concluded after passing the clearing the vote-on-account, which was presented on February 5, and the supplemenatry budget.
Banerjee took part in the photo session of the House, which was boycotted by the opposition BJP, Left and Congress members. Assembly employees took part in it.
Two TMC MLAs who joined BJP meet Mamata, fuel speculation
Two TMC MLAs who joined the BJP met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday, fuelling speculation about their next political move.
Bongaon MLA Biswajit Das and Noapara MLA Sunil Singh met Banerjee at her chamber in the assembly.
The two legislators claimed that they met the chief minister regarding development works in their constituencies, both of which are in the North 24 Parganas district.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh discarded any political motive behind the meeting, saying that they had given prior information to the party about it.
“Nothing should be read into it. As MLAs they can always meet the chief minister to discuss development issues in their constituencies,” he said.
Das and Singh had crossed over to the BJP following the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but did not quit as TMC MLAs.
Following the meeting, the two MLAs said that the chief minister assured them to look into the issues they raised.
The Trinamool Congress did not comment on the development.
Since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, 18 MLAs and an MP of the Trinamool Congress, three MLAs each of the Congress and the CPI(M), and one of the CPI have joined the BJP.
However, except former ministers Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee none of them resigned as MLAs.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are likely to be held in April-May.