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Congress and CPM MLAs on Friday slammed the state Budget 2017-’18, referring to it as “directionless”, “reckless” and “harmful for workers, peasants unemployed youths, women and those affected by chit funds”. State CPM secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said the Budget contained “visionless rhetoric and relentless bluffs”. “No plans for the creation of employment. The fight for realisation of unfulfilled demands will intensify… The non-plan extra budgetary expenditure at the behest of the Chief Minister is leading to reckless borrowing, the real reason for the debt trap,” he said in a series of tweets.
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“When the state government was leaving, the loan amounted to Rs 1,86,000 crore loan, which increased in just a year and a half to 6,00,000 crore. There is lack of planning, and spending goes beyond the budgeted amount as a result of this restless spending,” he added in a statement. The Congress and Left Front also boycotted the Budget presentation and conducted a mock Budget session inside House premises to protest an earlier “attack” on Congress leader Abdul Mannan, who was hospitalised following a scuffle with security staff in the Assembly, and underwent a permanent pacemaker implant at a hospital on Friday.
“Abdul Mannan underwent… dual chamber MRI compatible Permanent Pacemaker Implantation this morning,” Apollo Gleneagles Hospital said in a medical bulletin, adding: “Post procedure, patient is stable and continues to remain in ICU under observation.” Veteran Left MLA and former jail minister Biswanath Chowdhury played the role of the Speaker during the mock Budget session, whereas MLA Jahanara Khan donned the role of the chief minister. Congress’ Sukbilas Varma, who played the role of the state finance minister, said: “The budget we placed here today is the real budget and people budget, and the budget that is being placed inside is anti-people and fake.”
Some Left MLAs played the role of Opposition MLAs during the mock budget, which continued for one-and-a-half hours. Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury also led a protest through the gates of the Assembly, where he and other protesters were detained by police.