In a veiled warning to the Centre,West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she would wait for a few days for her demand of a three-year moratorium on loan repayment to be accepted after which she would decide her future course of action.
“I will wait for a few days,I hope the issue will be sorted out. In democracy,talks are always good. We will keep talking. I am waiting for last 11 months for the solution,” Mamata said after her meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“During the last 11 months,I have met the Prime Minister ten times and Finance Minister 20 times. I am waiting for a few days,after that I will decide politically what can be done for my state,” she said while indicating unhappiness about the lack of proper response to her financial demand.
Mamata said she had struggled for the welfare of the people and hoped that she would “ultimately win”. When pointed out that there was a problem in granting moratorium on loan repayment,she said,”What is digestible to me is not digestible to the Finance Minister. The food which is digestible to my people is digestible to me. Whatever will be done,I will wait for few days.”
On the future course of action to be taken by her,Banerjee said “I will do politically whatever is possible for my state.”
Asked what was PM’s response to her demands,she said he is discussing the issue seriously but added that no solution has been found yet.
“We are hoping that it will be sorted out,” she said.
Justifying her demand for moratorium,Banerjee said such a step has been taken with regard to Punjab.
“Between 2000 and 2006,moratorium was given to Punjab. West Bengal has suffered for 35 years under the Left Front rule. I have inherited this heavy debt legacy and it is not my creation.”
Describing the financial condition of the state as “dismal” she said,”We do not have funds left for health,education and developmental works. There is no money for BPL scheme also. This is a genuine demand. Even according to Finance Ministry report,Bengal,Kerala and Punjab are debt ridden states.”
She said,”No other state has suffered like Bengal. Bengal is a special case. We have to pay Rs 22,000 crore as interest on loan repayment on central loan.”
Bengal has debt of more than Rs 2 lakh crore central loan.
On NCTC,she said,”We are opposing NCTC. Because there are boundaries for state governments and the Centre. No one should cross the boundaries. NCTC is intervening in the state’s boundaries. It would destroy the federal structure.”