Are we beggars? Mamata asks Modi

West Bengal chief minister and former railways minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the Narendra Modi-led central government on Tuesday for not providing enough largesse for her state in the Rail Budget 2014. ‘Whatever we had promised, we have done. But the Modi government has done nothing. West Bengal has been given nothing, are we beggars?,’ a disappointed  Banerjee asked.
Criticising the BJP government over bringing FDI in infrastructure projects during the Railway Budget, she said, ‘So many bluffs have been given before the elections. Why they did not tell the people earlier of bringing FDI in defence and railways. Why now after the elections?’

Economist Abhirup Sircar also feels that FDI in Railways may just hike the cost of rail travel. ‘FDI is not a magic word. Look at Africa. Domestic investment is required for any development to take place. Indian Railways has a lot to do with social development…and that has been completely ignored in this budget,’ Sircar told Millennium Post.

The West Bengal chief minister was addressing a government programme here in the Hooghly district. Alleging a vindictive attitude toward West Bengal, Banerjee said, ‘It has been neglected and humiliated by the new government. Only one weekly express train has been given for Bengal. I ask that it be withdrawn. We are not beggars. We fight for our rights. We do not compromise.’
Banerjee added she had approved 16 rail projects for her state and proposed 300 new trains for the state when she was the railway minister.

‘Today my heart is burning. It is fortunate that I am not there in the Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha. I do not know what I would have done had I been there,’ the Trinamool Congress supremo added.
‘There were very important projects which have been dropped by today’s budget. The Belur hospital project was expected since the prime minister has a link with the Belur Math,’ Trinamool MP Sisir Adhikary told Millennium Post.

Hitting out at the previous Congress-led UPA government, Banerjee said that it had deprived West Bengal of assistance and the present government is also following the same foot-steps.
Banerjee also charged the government with making trains out of bounds for poor people by hiking fares a days back.
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