Centre selling off country by introducing FDI: Mamata

Kolkata, July 8:

Criticising the central government for “neglecting” West Bengal in the rail budget, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday accused the Narendra Modi government of “selling off the country” by introducing FDI in several sectors like defence and railways.

Mamata BanerjeeRailway Minister Sadanand Gowda presented the Railway Budget for 2014-15 in parliament Tuesday.

“They (the BJP) want to bring foreign direct investment (FDI) in railways. They want to sell off the country… where will the domestic industrialists go? They (the BJP) should have said before the elections that the country will be handed over to FDI,” Banerjee said at a function in Hooghly district.

“West Bengal has been neglected and humiliated by the new government. Not only Bengal, other states like Odisha and Tamil Nadu were also neglected in the railway budget. My heart burns in anguish. I am angry. If I were in parliament today, I cannot imagine what I would have done,” she said.

Banerjee said the Bharatiya Janata Party was indulging in “cheap money-based politics”.

Banerjee twice held the post of railways minister, once during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance and later during the UPA rule under Manmohan Singh.

She said several proposals highlighted in the current budget had already been ideated by her during her stint as the railway minister.

“It has been barely a month since they came to power but it is clear what they want. They want to hike fares every time fuel prices are increased… they will not tell us. The BJP is doing just what the UPA did. They have hiked fares by 14.5 percent in just one month,” Banjeree said.

“You have humiliated us but we will not beg. We do not want alms from the Centre. We want our rights. When I was railway minister, I had given several projects and new lines for Bengal. Today, Bengal is neglected,” she said.

Banerjee asserted that had her proposed outfit, the Federal Front, come to power, the scenario would have been different.

“Had the Federal Front come to power, we would not have faced the disgrace today,” she said.

Banerjee also said the central government has snatched jobs of youths from Singur who used to work in railways as coolies.


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