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PM should speak up on PNB scam, price hike, says Mamata

Malda: Severely castigating the Bharatiya Janata Party, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the saffron brigade should quit if they fail to answer the questions surrounding key issues like the Centre's role in the Punjab National Bank scam, or the hike in prices of petrol and diesel, apart from its complete failure to control the price of essential commodities.
She was addressing a gathering in connection with the public distribution programme here on Tuesday afternoon.
"The people of the country want answers from BJP. The banks have been looted by some people and the prices of petrol and diesel are going up. The Centre has failed to bring down the price of essential commodities. If they fail to answer these questions, they should quit," she said.
Banerjee said people are feeling insecure under BJP's rule. She said the country is facing a grave tragedy, as some people are running away without repaying loans to the banks, while the farmers are being pressurised by the banks to repay loans, many of whom have committed suicide.
"Twelve thousand farmers have committed suicide and many of them are from Maharashtra," noted the CM.
She alleged that in order to cover up the acute financial crisis haunting India, the interest rates of provident funds and fixed deposits have been reduced. "Because of some rich people who have cheated the banks, the common people are having to bear the brunt," the CM maintained.
She said Trinamool Congress will fight till the end to ensure that the draconian FRDI Bill is withdrawn. "You cannot deposit money in the banks, as any day the fixed deposits can been taken by the banks if their economic health deteriorates," stated an irate CM.
She said the Centre should come and see how several schemes like Kanyashree, Sabuj Sathi and Sabujshree have been implemented in Bengal, without a hike in tax. "We have to pay Rs 48,000 crore as loan but despite that, we have implemented schemes that have benefitted crores of people," she said.
Commenting on the development of women, she said the stipend amount of Kanyashree has been increased to Rs 1,000 from Rs 750. The Rupashree scheme, which will be implemented from April, will help parents receive a grant of Rs 25,000 during the marriage of their daughters.
"No parent should think that their daughter is a burden," she said, adding that women are also getting scholarships up to university level, so that they can carry on with their studies. "Do not beg for money...the state government is there to help you. Study seriously and I am sure that you will go to the top someday," she told the school and college girls, who were present at the meeting.
Banerjee also urged the people to maintain communal harmony. "Before the election, BJP comes to spread divisive politics. They want to destroy and spread canards against Bengal," she said, adding "stay together and it will bring peace in the district."
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