In a stern warning to the Congress-led union government, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday said it has to accept West Bengal’s demand for a tax moratorium for the next three years.
"We don’t have money to take up development measures for the state and the central government is taking away all the money as interest of the huge financial debt taken during the Left regime. This is simply unacceptable. We have asked for tax moratorium for the next three years. I have been pleading for the past one year, now they have to accept the demand," said Banerjee while addressing a programme in Kolkata.
The Trinamool Congress supremo's tough stand comes at a point when political managers of the Congress are having a hard time in analysing the much speculated meeting Samajwadi Party general secretary Kiranmoy Nanda and Banerjee held earlier this week.
"How will we run the state if they (Centre) take away all the money? They are trying to cripple the state. A lot has been said about us receiving huge amounts of money from the centre. This is not true. We have not received a single penny," Banerjee said.
Banerjee added that she would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and place her demand before him.
"Earlier too, I had met the prime minister and had placed the demand. I will meet him again and place the demand for tax moratorium."
The Trinamool Congress with 19 members in the Lok Sabha and 6 members in the Rajya Sabha is the second largest constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) II.
Currently, the relationship between the Congress and the Trinamool is going through a rough patch after the Trinamool openly opposed various policies of the central government.