Taking her running feud with the central government a big step farther, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday took potshots at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself, instead of her usual targets — West Bengal Congress leaders.
Lashing out at the Centre for not releasing funds despite a severe financial crisis, the West Bengal CM said, "When I was on a hunger strike for 26 days (during the Singur agitation) … the Prime Minister was in the city. But he didn't enquire about me because he was afraid his Left friends (then an ally of the Congress) would not like it."
Banerjee, who later joined the UPA in the Centre and formed a coalition with the party in the state before ending the 34-year-old Left rule, however, opposed the Congress on various issues, such as the lokpal bill, pension bill, FDI and fuel price hike.
Banerjee's problems with the Congress, in fact, began just after she formed government in West Bengal.
"It has been nearly eight months since the state has witnessed a change of guard. The Centre is aware of the financial crisis and the debt, but … we have not received a single penny," Banerjee said in an interview to a Bengali news channel.
She said that her government asked for a tax holiday, as "94% of the state earnings go as salaries, interest payments to the Centre and pensions. With the remaining 6%, it is very tough to run the state, but the Centre has not agreed".