West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has slammed the union budget as “anti-people” aimed at deceiving the masses and said the BJP talks about nationalism, but in practice, they are the ones who are selling resources of the nation to the private players.
Reiterating the demand for withdrawal of new agri laws, Ms Banerjee wondered why the Centre is hesitant to write off farm loans if it can waive NPAs running into crores of rupees.
“They (BJP) lecture others on nationalism, but in practice, they are the ones who sell the nation. They are selling everything from PSUs, Insurance, Railways to Ports. This is a budget to deceive the masses. It’s anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-country budget,” Ms Banerjee said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Uttar Banga Utsav in Siliguri.
Speaking about agri infrastructure cess, she said: “They are now implementing a new cess. Revenues earned through cess are taken by the centre and not shared with the states.”
She said that regular increase in petrol and diesel prices and imposition of cess on these products have severely affected the poor people owing to the related price hike of essential commodities.
Taking a dig at the BJP for sending a chartered plane to fly TMC leaders to Delhi for induction into the BJP, Ms Banerjee mockingly said they do not have money to pay for the travel of migrant workers but have money to fly corrupt leaders in chartered aircraft.
“During COVID period we paid for transportation of migrant workers. But, they (BJP) have money for using chartered planes to fly corrupt leaders to New Delhi. This only shows their true colour,” she said.
The chief minister said that a ₹ 3,200 crore project for north-south road connectivity between Siliguri and Kolkata in the state is already in progress, and added that when her government is already implementing it, what more is there for the central government to do.
The Union Finance minister announced ₹ 25,000 crore for road construction in West Bengal in the budget, including upgradation of the existing Kolkata-Siliguri highway. Ms Banerjee asserted that the funds allocated for road development in poll-bound West Bengal should instead be given to the farmers.
“There is no need, I will do it on our own in the state. Don’t do such politics during elections,” she said. Ms Banerjee said that work on another road link is also on via Bardhaman and Rampurhat to connect north Bengal with the southern districts of the state.