Launching a scathing attack on the Centre, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today alleged it was trying to “save money” by stopping or slashing funds for state projects but had spent a huge sum on a suit for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
She gave three months time to the Centre to waive the huge debts her government inherited from the previous Left Front regime and threatened to launch a movement on the streets of New Delhi if “interference” in federal structure is not stopped.
“The Narendra Modi government has either stopped or slashed funds for various state government projects. He is trying to save money. What for will you save the money? You want to save the money for a coat and get a place in the Guinness Book?” she said.
Addressing a programme of the Trinamool Congress student wing, the Chief Minister said mockingly, “You can find your name in the Guinness Book for good work, but just imagine people are making it to it just by stitching coats.”
The monogrammed suit Modi donned during his meeting with US President Barack Obama last year entered the Guinness Book of World Records as “the most expensive suit sold at auction”. But it had invited Opposition criticism.
The suit was reportedly stitched at a cost of Rs 10 lakh and was auctioned at a base price of Rs 11 lakh. The money raised from the auction of the suit has been earmarked for the Centre’s clean Ganga mission.
Mamata then referred to the Centre’s “peculiar” rule that if there is no Aadhaar card the students will not get benefits or scholarships.
“Who are they to stop it? The government should understand that we have not come to power by the mercy of someone. The Centre has its own jurisdiction and state its own. The Centre should not interfere in the matters of the state,” Banerjee said.
She threatened to launch an agitation in Delhi if the Centre doesn’t stop “interfering” and doesn’t waive the debts within three months.
She expressed regret that her government always cooperated (with the Centre) on positive issues, but was “never” reciprocated by.
She accused the Modi government of being “interested more in giving advertisements” rather than any proper work.
Banerjee also spoke on the BSF allegedly providing training to Narayani Sena of Greater Cooch Behar People’s Association and accused the Centre of pursuing divisive politics.
“Just imagine BSF is giving training to those who want to break the nation and the state. An MP (BJP MP) is writing to the Centre in favour of them (Narayani Sena) and asking it to induct them in the Indian Army. Activists of their party (BJP) are going to every household and conducting cow census. We will not tolerate such things,” Banerjee said.
The BSF has denied the allegation terming it “baseless”.