HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014
Mamata plays safe, says budget tolerable
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 16, 2012
First Published: 22:18 IST(16/3/2012)
Last Updated: 22:37 IST(16/3/2012)

As the Congress puts on hold her latest demands - related to railway minister Dinesh Trivedi and his budget - Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee chose to play cool over the general budget and not test its ally's patience further.

The Congress, according to sources, had conveyed that her reactions to the budget would impact the future of their relationship that is already under stress.

Banerjee termed the budget "tolerable" indicating that though she is not happy with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's proposals, she will not fire salvoes this time.

This restrained approach comes while she awaits the Prime Minister to replace Trivedi with her party's nominee Mukul Roy and rollback the passenger fare hike announced in the rail budget.

"The budget shows a deficit of Rs. 43,000 crore. Various measures proposed in it may also lead to inflation. Our party is against any policy that hurts the common people. Though there are certain areas of concern, we can say overall it is a tolerable budget," Trinamool's parliamentary party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said after talking to Banerjee.

Trinamool offered measured response even as the finance minister chose to skip the issue of a possible financial relief to her debt-ridden state.

The West Bengal government is pressurising the Centre to allow a moratorium on its loan repayment that takes away Rs. 22,000 crore annually from the state's coffers.

"We were expecting some announcement for Bengal and other debt-ridden states like Kerala and Punjab. But nothing came. We will raise this issue during the budget reply," Bandopadhyay said.

While the biggest ally tried to veto other policy issues and bills earlier, it is not going to oppose the budget as that may lead to early polls.

"We are with the Congress and this government will serve its full term. There is no question of voting against the government," Bandopadhyay added.

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