Govt, Opposition leaders unite in Assembly over 'step-motherly' attitude of Centre
Kolkata: Members of the Legislative Assembly across party lines on Thursday protested against the step motherly attitude of the Centre, in slashing down fund allocation for railway projects in Bengal, during the discussions on motion brought in this connection in the state Assembly.
It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Tuesday accused the BJP of "step-motherly" attitude, for depriving Bengal in the Budget and slashing the fund allocation by 14 per cent compared to that of the last financial year.
Banerjee had said that "under no circumstances, are we going to accept this Budget proposal".
In the state Assembly on Thursday, there was discussion on motion under rule 185, regarding non-allocation of funds towards different ongoing projects, including railway projects in West Bengal in the Central Budget for the year 2018-19.
Partha Chatterjee, the Parliamentary Affairs minister, said: "We may be from different political parties, but we all live in Bengal and overall development of the state is our target."
He said that several initiatives for development of the railways were taken when Mamata Banerjee was the Railway minister. The work had gained momentum during her tenure. Later, allocation for many projects was slashed down.
"I condemn the move of slashing the fund allocation for Bengal. It has not happened only for railway projects, but the Centre has also reduced funds for many other projects in the state," Chatterjee said, adding that the people of Bengal will not forgive the Central government for this reduction in funds.
Firhad Hakim, the state Municipal Affairs and Urban Development minister, said: "The Centre has deprived the state. We are not asking for any favour from them. It is the duty of the Centre to allocate money for the states. The country will develop only if the development of the states takes place."
He launched a scathing attack, saying that the Prime Minister of the country is working with a 'communal mindset'.
The Left Front and Congress MLAs supported the motion as well. Interestingly, BJP MLA and the party's state president Dilip Ghosh was indifferent to the issue, when the discussion was going on in the Assembly.