Mamata upset over Budget being branded as `Bengal-centric`
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 19:57
New Delhi: Dismissing suggestions that the Rail Budget was West Bengal-centric, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said those raising the issue are "humiliating" the state and advised journalists not to ask "politically manipulative" questions.

"Do not humiliate (West) Bengal" by parroting it," Banerjee said on being asked whether special attention has been given in the Budget for her home state with an eye on Assembly elections next year.

"Your question is totally politically manipulative," she said in an outburst during her post-Budget media briefing.

Banerjee, who was repeatedly interrupted by MPs in the Lok Sabha during her speech, said she cannot "satisfy 800 people (MPs)... I have given wagon industry to Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Guwahati".

The maximum number of projects have been given to other states, she said.

However, Banerjee said that West Bengal "cannot be left out from the development" and she has to take up the cause of the state like other ministers do for their home states.

"Do you think Bengal should be left out from the development?" she asked.

The major announcements relating to West Bengal are in regard to expansion of Kolkata Metro Network, port connectivity, proposed introduction of 'Sanskriti Express' to mark 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore as also 'Bharat Tirath' trains. More superfast non-stop 'Duronto' trains would be introduced from the state.

Besides, West Bengal figures prominently in other plans like new lines and doublings of tracks.


First Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 19:57

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