Kolkata: Giving a
tough message to the Congress ahead of parliament's budget session
beginning Monday, the Trinamool Congress Friday said it would not
accept any cut in fertiliser subsidy or a rise in petroleum prices
or even an agency like the National Counter Terrorism Centre which
would jeopardise the federal structure of the constitution.
"Wherever interest of common people is concerned we are ready to
raise our voice on the floor of the house. If it was done earlier,
it can be repeated again," said Trinamool parliamentary party
leader Sudip Bandopadhyay.
Briefing mediapersons after Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee held
deliberations with the Trinamool members of Rajya Sabha and Lok
Sabha, Bandopadhyay raised the pitch for central assistance for
debt-ridden West Bengal.
He said the party was 'totally opposed' to any increase in petro-prices.
"Last time we met the prime minister. Ultimately the government
had to roll back. . When Trinamool raises its voice, it raises the
demands to the government in a way that the government has to be
careful about the issues we raise," he said.
Bandopadhyay said lot of reports of possible government policies
have cropped up in the media, which, if implemented, would have
grave financial implications for the state and militate against
the federal structure.
"We are hearing lot of things which we discussed with our
chairperson to decide on our duties and standpoints. We discussed
the NCTC. We will protect the state's interests."
"There is also reluctance to provide fertiliser subsidy to the
level given so long. We don't accept this. The interest of crores
of our peasants is involved," he said.
Regarding Bengal's financial situation, Bandopadhyay said the
state government had an annual Rs.22,000 crore loan repayment
burden, while its income from its own resources was Rs.21,000
Bandopadhyay denied that his party was showing its power.
Political observers feel after its poor showing in Uttar Pradesh,
Punjab and Goa, the Congress would now be more dependent on the
Trinamool - which has 20 MPs in the Lok Sabha and six in the Rajya
Trinamool has been stiffly opposing key central legislation and
policies, including the Lokpall bill, foreign direct investment in
retail and pension bill, as also the proposed land bill.