Calling the Union Budget anti-poor, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said it did not throw light on the country’s economy and there was absolute darkness.
Banerjee was addressing a gathering in connection with the distribution of various benefits offered by the West Bengal government in Birbhum.
She said, “Unemployment in the country is at an all-time high and the Centre has miserably failed to contain the prices of essential commodities. No step has been taken to address these problems. The budget has benefited only a small section of people.”
“If I had the authority, I could have made a budget for the common people. The BJP leaders do not mix with common people and have no idea as to how they are spending their lives. Life has become bad to worse because of the sky-rocketing of the prices of essential commodities,” she added.
Coming down heavily on the Centre, the chief minister pointed out that the Centre was talking about supporting the self-help groups (SHGs) while in reality, she alleged, they are acting in the reverse manner.
“In West Bengal, we have 11 lakh SHGs. In every state there are SHGs and the Centre is making a total and projected it as if it is their achievement. I have never seen a government speaking more lie than truth,” she contended.
Referring to Visva Bharati, Mamata Banerjee said, “I will write to the prime minister to apprise him of the situation as he is the chancellor of the university. The teachers are suspended without any reason and actions are taken against the students. Even the old Asramites are not happy with the VB authorities. I will stand beside the students and not allow the saffronisation of an institution that was set up by Gurudeb Rabindranath Tagore.”
Criticising local BJP leaders she said, “They have no contact with people and criticise every step taken by the West Bengal government.”
She assured the people of Birbhum that they would get jobs due to Deochapachami, the second coal belt in the world and urged a section of the media not to give publicity to those who had been trying to stall the project.
Banerjee, who is also the chairperson of Trinamul Congress, said she would look after Birbhum district on behalf of the party. “I will be assisted by Firhad Hakim, Ashis Banerjee and Shatabdi Roy and will visit the district every six months.”