TMC threatens to oppose policies in Parliament
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 crore.
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 Sabha.
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.