Centre responsible for WB debts: Mamata



New Delhi: In a shrill attack on the Centre, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused it of an "unholy nexus" with the erstwhile Left Front government of West Bengal, leaving the state in a "disastrous" financial situation with a debt burden of Rs 2 lakh crore, and warned that patience was running out.

"We have waited for a year and a half but the patience of our people is running out. I am hoping that my presentation today ... Will touch a chord in the heart of the government of India to move forward on the debt impasse," Banerjee warned in her speech at the National Development Council meeting here.

"I must ask as to why the central government allowed the state of West Bengal to fall into a debt trap by becoming a party to the years of profligacy of the Left Front government? In retrospect, this unholy nexus has left our government in a disastrous financial condition," she said in her speech, read out in absentia by state Finance Minister Amit Mitra.

It was "unfortunate that the UPA-I and UPA-II governments permitted the Left Front government to rampantly borrow and build up the debt burden," Banerjee said.

She said it was imperative that before finalising the 12th Plan document, the "unbearable debt burden of over Rs 2 lakh crore thrust upon our government" needs to be mitigated by the Centre "here and now".

Banerjee also claimed that the Centre had allowed the erstwhile state government to borrow Rs 5,173 crore within 28 days, "just days before we took office."

This resulted in "a sharp reduction in the quantum of loan available to our new government, within the FRBM limit, thereby tying our hands behind our backs even further."

The chief of Trinamool Congress, which parted ways with the UPA in September, also called it "ironic" that "a state of 90 million people, larger in size than the combined population of Greece, France and Spain, has been left in the lurch while India pledged USD 10 billion to the IMF for addressing the financial crisis of the Eurozone".

PTI