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After Cong, Left accuses Trinamool of double standards on FDI

IANS  Kolkata, September 20, 2012
First Published: 20:32 IST(20/9/2012) | Last Updated: 21:35 IST(20/9/2012)

Accusing Trinamool Congress of double standards on the issue of retail FDI, West Bengal Left Front chairman Biman Bose on Thursday said the Mamata Banerjee-led party had argued in favour of the measure during last year's assembly polls.

"They are now opposing retail FDI... but during the 2011 assembly polls they argued in favour of retail FDI in their election manifesto. They have clearly stated that they want FDI in retail. So what they are saying now and what they have said earlier is synonymous," said Bose.

Earlier, Congress' state unit too cited Trinamool's manifesto to note that the Mamata Banerjee  party had sought retail FDI.

"The Trinamool in its election manifesto during the 2011 elections asked for FDI in the state. Now they are opposing it," state Congress President Pradip Bhattacharjee. Miffed over the twin "anti-people decisions" of diesel price hike and FDI in retail, Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Banerjee on Tuesday announced that her party was withdrawing support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Bose demanded that the state government slash taxes on diesel prices to provide relief to the common man.

"In 2010, when Left Front was in power, we had reduced state tax on oil prices to provide relief to the masses. So why is the state government saying they can't do anything? They should also slash the state-level taxes. They used to demand the same thing when they were in the opposition," said Bose.

Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party Leader in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhay said on Thursday that there was no scope of the party budging from its stand of its ministers quitting and the party withdrawing support to UPA government on its big ticket reforms.

"There is no scope or question of further negotiation at any stage or level. Our stand is an uncompromising one. There is no question of any adjustment," Bandyopadhay said.

He recalled that party supremo Mamata Banerjee had sent a SMS to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on September 14 communicating her views against allowing FDI in retail, diesel price hike and cap on subsidised LPG cylinders.

But no step was taken either by the government or the UPA," he said.

Claiming that the central government had lost credibility after the decision of the Trinamool Congress to pull out, he said, "This government is plagued by allegations of many scams including coal block allocations.

"The clean and honest image of Mamata Banerjee as an ally in the government could have been utilised by them by ensuring that her party remain in the UPA by not going ahead with these kind of anti-people decisions," the senior TMC leader said.


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