KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given sleepless nights to the Congress in the last few weeks over the Lokpal Bill logjam in the Parliament or the Centre’s plan to allow FDI in retail.
Mamata has been a vitriolic critic of the Congress’ proposals, bringing back distinct reminders of the UPA-I when the Left Front was supporting the Congress-led Government from outside.
The acknowledgement has come from none other than the comrades themselves. “She (Mamata) wants to be more Left than the Left (Front) itself,” said Surjya Kanta Mishra, Leader of the Opposition, here on Tuesday. Mamata said on Tuesday that though she was not in favour of toppling the UPA Government, she would continue to “speak on issues that affect common man”.
“We have raised objections on some policies of the Centre like entry of foreign investment in the retail sector. Nearly 50 crore people are associated with the retail sector...They would be adversely affected by the entry of foreign capital in retail. We also said that there should be no forcible acquisition of agricultural land and our policy on land is the best,” Mamata told reporters.
She also launched a scathing attack on 34 years of Left misrule saying that “various documents were missing”.
Banerjee also reacted to the farmers’ grievances of low wheat prices and high fertiliser rates.
“Wheat prices are fixed by the Centre and we have to abide by it. The CPM knows this very well...Fertiliser prices were not increased by the state government. From 2010, the Centre has decontrolled fertiliser prices,” she noted.
Mishra said,”The TC Government was trying to relinquish responsibility ... as Banerjee was a minister in 2010 and the TMC is currently the second largest constituent of UPA-II.”