Centre asking industrialists not to invest in Bengal: Mamata
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a "Tughlaq", accusing his government of scaring away industrialists from investing in the state.
Speaking at an event in Kolkata on Friday, Mamata Banerjee said: "You (the Centre) tell companies not to invest in Bengal. They say not to go to Bengal. Our projects are pending. Why these projects are not being cleared?"
She further said: "There is no cooperative federalism is in India. Super-emergency is going on in India. Somebody may agree with me somebody may not... But, I must tell this...Every industrialist is under threat, under the scanner. What is going on in this country? There is no freedom. There is no voice of the industry, neither of farmers nor the industry. More than 12,600 people died. All media is under the scanner."
She ruled that the Centre is indulging itself in a step-motherly attitude in regards to the eastern states. "The population in the Eastern and the North-Eastern states is much higher than that of the west. You see, Gujarat has as many as 47 ports. We have two here, and we are seeking permission for two more to which they are not agreeing. I respect Gujarat. Every state is doing progressive work. So I feel there should be no discrimination," she said.
In a clear indication that she is not averse to taking the lead in bringing the opposition parties together on a single platform to fight the Narendra Modi government at the Centre in the forthcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls, she harped on collective leadership and stressed on working in unison to put up a stiff challenge to the BJP government.
"We are already working together in Parliament. I went to Lalu Prasadji (RJD chief) in Patna. I have a good relationship with Akhileshji (Samajwadi Party chief) and Mayawatiji (BSP chief) in Uttar Pradesh. We also have a good relationship with Stalin (DMK) and Naveen Patnaikji in Odisha. The other day, Uddhav (of Shiv Sena) came to meet me in Maharashtra. I have the best of relations with so many other people," Banerjee answered when asked about forming a grand coalition before the 2019 general elections.
When questioned about her recent meeting with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray despite seen as a "secular champion", Banerjee maintained: "I am grateful to them as they accompanied us when we met the then President Pranab Mukherjee after demonetisation was announced. They opposed demonetisation. We can't forget that. That is why we maintain a working relationship with them. If there is a common issue, we are ready to work together," she reiterated.
When asked whether the BJP is emerging as a principal challenger to the Trinamool Congress in Bengal after the Left, she said: "Not at all. They have propaganda machinery. It is a media-oriented political party. Let BJP shout along with their bike vahini, but they will not be able to do anything in Bengal. BJP does a Hindu-Muslim dance all the time. BJP is a danga (riot)-oriented political party, and since it cannot compete with the TMC politically, it tries to set off riots in the state. The people of Bengal will not accept their divide and rule policy," she stated.