Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s retort to the Opposition’s criticism about her frequent absence from Delhi drew flak from left, right and centre on Tuesday.
Banerjee had justified her absence by saying on Monday that “Delhi is not my home. When there is no Parliament session, why should I stay in Delhi? Kolkata is my homeland.”
Her outburst came under attack not only from rivals CPI-M and BJP, but UPA partner Congress as well.
“She should devote equal time at the Centre and the state, which she is not doing at present. I advise her to spend
more time at the Centre to look after the railways,” said Bengal Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharjee.
In New Delhi, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, referring to Banerjee without naming her, observed, “The minister prefers to stay 1,000 km away and not here” and that her “main concern was to win the next polls in West Bengal and throw the CPI-M out of power”.
CPI-M central committee member Mohammed Salim said, “It is the duty of a minister holding such an important portfolio as railways to spend most of the time in Delhi.”