The Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance might be over, but with panchayat polls ahead, the state Congress leaders find themselves siding with Trinamool to keep the Central funds for West Bengal flowing.
Concerned after seeing media reports that funds to the tune of Rs. 1 lakh crore may be blocked, state Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya called up PM Manmohan Singh’s office.
“We can’t compromise on the state’s development,” Bhattacharya told HT. “The PMO assured me there would be no step-motherly treatment for Bengal. I was even told that they would consider the state’s demand for extra funds.”
“With panchayat polls getting close and Lok Sabha polls thereafter, we cannot take the blame for hampering development in Bengal,” said a senior AICC member from the state.
Banerjee’s pullout from the Central government has given rise to concerns about the Central bailout package of R16,000 crore. There have also been speculations that railway projects worth R70,000 crore may get affected along with the R5,000 crore East-West Metro project. CM Mamata Banerjee has already asked her ministers to make sure the funds reach the state on time.