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Cong sinking ship, Left will face further rejection: Mamata

February 17, 2014 18:57 IST

The Congress-led UPA government was a sinking ship and would not return to power while the Left would face further rejection by the people, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday.

"They (UPA) are only for some more days," she said replying to the debate on the Governor's address amid boycott of the House by opposition Left and Congress members who were alleging that the chief minister avoided the House regularly.

Accusing the Centre of attempting to "starve" the state, Banerjee said, "Even the funds for the MNERGA have been stopped by the Centre for the last three months.

"Why did it allow the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front to take loans time and again during its reign?" she asked.

Claiming that there was a growing political love between CPM and Congress to split Trinamool Congress votes in the Lok Sabha elections, Banerjee said the two parties would transfer each others votes in the coming elections.

Banerjee, who had called for a "parivartan" (change) in Delhi and spoken of a federal front of regional parties, said the days of the UPA government were numbered because of its "anti-people" policies after Trinamool Congress quit the UPA alliance.

Attacking the Centre for not paying heed to her government's demand to restructure its debts incurred during the Left Front era, Banerjee said, "When the new government will come we will take it up. If the debt payment is restructured, we will be able to restore the golden era. It will be all gold then."

She further said since the demolition of Babri Masjid, BJP was unacceptable to the people.

Banerjee also came down heavily on the Left Front for its decision to boycott her speeches in the Assembly.

Noting that between 1972-77, CPM had boycotted the Assembly for five years, she said, "Whenever it suits me, I will be present (in the Assembly), but will remain absent on other occasions."

"They (Left Front) looted the state for 34 years. Now they have gone on a boycott mode. They will be further rejected by the people.

"I have to travel to districts to get a first-hand knowledge of problems. I do not give lectures sitting in air-conditioned rooms and resort to lies. Moreover, I keep myself abreast of the proceedings of the House and what members are saying," she said.

She said she took permission from the Speaker before going on district tours.

Defending inauguration of a secretariat in north Bengal by her, she said, "The country is more important than the party. I was a seven-time MP. Whenever there was a Parliament joint session or special session, I never felt like skipping it."

She also wondered whether the Left liked her to be in the House all the time.

"Do I look good? Is it necessary that I have to stay (in the House). It seems that you all like me."

Referring to the vacant Opposition benches, she said that they would not be returned by the people as MLAs for their behaviour post election.

"Iswar eder bhalo rakhun. Echara kichu bolar nei. (I pray to God to keep them well. I have nothing else to say), she said.

Rubbishing the recent charge of CPM leader Suryakanta Mishra accusing her of creating bad blood with neighbouring states and countries, she said that ties with foreign countries was for the Central government to take care of.

"We are for better ties with all the states and also for neighbouring countries. There is no truth in the allegation," she said.

Left Front members staged mock Assembly during the chief minister's speech.

Leader of Opposition and CPM politburo member Suryakanta Mishra said, "This boycott will continue till the chief minister attends the House regularly in the question and answer session, which she always tries to avoid."

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