Mamata threatens march to Lal Qila to press for ‘dues’

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today threatened to take the anti-Centre movement to Lal Qila if UPA-II "continues to deprive the state government of its legitimate financial share".

"You (the Centre) are collecting Rs 40,000 crore from West Bengal but giving us only Rs 18,000 crore. This cannot continue," she said at a rally here today.

"I will not beg for money, but if our legitimate dues are not given, I will take all my colleagues to Lal Qila," she said, reiterating her demand for a three-year moratorium on loan repayment.

"You give subsidy from funds that you generate from states. If you refuse to give subsidy then you have to pay us the surplus fund," Mamata demanded. She was addressing a Trinamool Congress rally at Esplanade in protest against the decontrol of diesel price and "concocted campaign" by the Congress and CPM against the Trinamool-led government in Bengal.

Mamata said the state's coffers were in such poor condition that her government was facing challenges every moment to implement its agenda. "But we have done 99 per cent of the job despite acute financial crisis and we have mopped up an additional Rs 10,000 crore after coming to power. No government can perform like us," she claimed.

The CM said that despite massive anti-government campaigns based on false charges, she had not taken action against CPM leaders. "I have showed courtesy, otherwise they would have been in jail on charges of corruption," she said, alleging corruption during the Left Front regime. "Files are missing, tenders were given in relatives' names," she added.

Mamata criticised the media, which was portraying the government "in poor light". "The media does not speak the truth. They run businesses. They want the land ceiling limit to be withdrawn for their own interest. There is a lakshmanrekha and I ask them not to cross it," she said.

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