Amid a sense of victory that the Centre has shelved the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill for now, the Left parties are divided over sharing credit with Trinamool Congress on the issue.
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee shot a letter to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday highlighting her “concerns” over the proposed PFRDA Bill.
Hours later, Mukherjee is believed to have informed the Cabinet that he is holding back the bill as it requires further consultations. The bill was then removed from the Lok Sabha’s revised lists of business.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury termed the Trinamool’s role as “opportunist” but senior CPI leader in Lok Sabha Gurudas Dasgupta supported and welcomed Mamata Banerjee’s initiative as “it was good for the country”.
“Why should we be happy?” Yechury retorted when asked to comment that the Trinamool is following the Left’s footsteps on the pension bill.
“They might have raised some issues now but we consistently opposed the bill and didn’t allow the UPA to pass it in the last seven years,” he said.
CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia pointed out that Trinamool was a part of the government that introduced the new pension scheme during the NDA regime. Yechury added, “This can’t be an act of convenience that we support PFRDA during NDA and oppose it during UPA rule. This is opportunist attitude.”
But Dasgupta seemed to have a different point of view.
“If Banerjee or anyone else pressurises this government on any issue that is good for the country, I welcome it. Mamata Banerjee’s opinion was definitely taken into account by the government but there were other factors too,” he said.
The government agreed to bring three amendments in the bill to allay the concerns of BJP and the main opposition party even agreed to support it.
Trinamool, however, refused to relent and flatly told the government that it was still apprehensive about the bill. Mamata Banerjee’s stubborn resistance had earlier forced the UPA government to suspend its plan to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.