Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Bengal deprived and humiliated, says Mamata Banerjee

Express News Service | Kolkata | Posted: July 8, 2014 9:53 pm

Slamming the move to bring in FDI in Railways as an attempt to sell out the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Tuesday accused the Narendra Modi-led government at Centre of “humiliating” her state by “depriving and neglecting” it in the Railway Budget.

“West Bengal has never been so deprived and neglected. It has been humiliated by the new government,” Mamata told an administrative meeting in Hooghly district.

Alleging a vindictive attitude towards the state, Mamata said, “Only one weekly express train has been given for Bengal. I ask that it be withdrawn. We are not beggars. We do not want alms from the Centre. We want our legitimate rights,” she said.

Mamata, a former railway minister, said that she had approved 16 rail projects and proposed 300 new trains for the state. “I am anguished. I am angry. Had I been there in Parliament today, I cannot imagine what I would have done,” she said, adding that the Trinamool MPs are protesting in Parliament against the Railway Budget. “We will not sit idle if Bengal is neglected,” she added.

The Trinamool supremo also alleged that several projects in the budget presented by Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda had already been proposed by her when she was the railway minister.

An angry Mamata also posted an update in Bengali on social networking site Facebook. “Have you ever seen such humiliation and deprivation? Conscience cannot be bought with money. Politics is about public service,” she said, adding that other states, including Bihar, Orissa and Tamil Nadu — states ruled by political parties that are not a part of the NDA — have also been neglected in the Railway Budget.

Criticising the move to open the Railways for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) to meet the resource crunch, the Trinamool supremo said, “Why did they not tell the people earlier of bringing FDI in defence and Railways. Why now after the elections? They want to sell off the country.”

She said the BJP’s real face was getting exposed as they are doing what the earlier UPA government did. “They have hiked rail fares by 14.5 per cent in just one month. They want to hike fares every time the fuel prices are increased,” she said.

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