Mamata Banerjee: Centre running country like 'feudal landlord'

Written by PTI | Kolkata | Updated: Feb 20 2014, 03:09am hrs
Slamming the Centre over the way Telangana Bill was passed in Lok Sabha, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the government was running the country like a "feudal landlord" and has undermined the will of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

The Trinamool Congress chief, whose party is opposed to the creation of smaller states, said the government was acting as a "feudal landlord" and doing things "forcefully" ahead of the elections by undermining the will of Andhra Pradesh.

"If a state wants something, then that should be taken into consideration. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister has resigned today. Is it proper" she told reporters here.

She went on to add that ahead of the polls,"they (the government) were acting forcefully, demolishing the Constitution and bulldosing it. We are not with this. They are running the country like a feudal landlord. There is no credibility".

Yesterday, amidst din, chaos and an unprecedented black out of proceedings on live televison, the bill to carve out Telangana, the 29th state of the country, was passed by the Lok Sabha with Congress and BJP coming together on the issue.

Banerjee, whose party MPs today met President Pranab Mukherjee protesting against the way the Bill was passed, cited Sarkaria Commission report and said that there should be a clear demarcation between the states and the Centre.

She said the "feudal" tendency of the government was also reflected in the way it has raised the prices of the petroleum products several times and have forced their policies on the states.

"But our stand has been clear. We walked out of the government on the issue of multi-brand retail and did not implement it in our state," she said and suggested a change in the system where the states are empowered enough to decide their course.

The chief minister said that during the last two-and-half-years, the Centre has "taken away Rs 70,000 crore" from the state, making it impossible for the state government to run.

However, the growth rate of West Bengal was double the Centre's growth rate and revenue collections was highest in India because of the reforms initiated by my government.

"We also saved Rs 1,500 crore due to efficiency," Banerjee said.

The West Bengal Chief Minister rubbished allegation that her party was involved in the chit fund scam, saying such businesses were started during the Left Front rule.

"This is absolutely wrong... all the chit fund started at the time of Left Front rule and they were the associate member of the chit fund," she said.

She said her government had set up a judicial commission after the scam broke out and got the accused arrested from Jammu and Kashmir. Besides one the TMC MPs, accused to be involved, was arrested and sent to jail, she said.

The state government also disbursed Rs 10,000 crore from its fund to investors affected in the scam, she added.