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Adamant Mamata says nobody from Centre contacted me

Kolkata, Sep 19 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the Central Government’s claim that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh tried to contact her following last night’s political developments is absolutely wrong and charged the leaders of the ruling Congress Party of distorting facts.

Banerjee said no attempt was made by the Prime Minister to contact her after the new reforms were announced.

“The Centre’s claim that the Prime Minister tried to contact me is wrong. The Centre was never in touch with me. I request Congress leaders not to distort facts,” said Banerjee.

“I want to say this to them, you cannot control us. We are transparent. People know our credentials,” she added, while charging the ruling UPA Government of taking decisions unilaterally.

Banerjee further said that the ruling UPA Government is anti-farmer.

“The fertilizer prices have gone up 75 percent. When the honourable President was the Finance Minister, there was a statement in the house that they will not implement this without consent of the states. I was never informed about FDI decisions. They had set up a coordination committee – and that has vanished. And they have taken all the decisions unilaterally,” said Banerjee.

“We cannot cheat the people. Whatever we say on our manifesto, we have a commitment. Our ministers will now resign,” she added.

Banerjee said that the government must withdraw FDI in retail and asked the Centre to provide subsidy on 24 cylinders in a year.

“How can they say the states are free to accept or not accept FDI. When the centre makes a policy, it is applicable to the whole country. The government should give at least 2 cylinders minimum per month. How can they survive on just six? Only if they are on a diet with no tea/coffee and are super humans,” she said.

“UPA is always talking about economic reforms. Reforms come from the grassroots, it cannot come from the sky. It is for the country, the people of the country,” she added.

The TMC chief further said that her party would not support the shutdown tomorrow, as it harms the economy.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram earlier today said Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has tried to talk to Mamata Banerjee, but there has been no response from the other end.

“We have tried to speak to her four days ago. The Prime Minister tried to speak to her. We have left a message. We have not heard back from her,” he told media persons in New Delhi.

The Congress-led UPA Government appears to be in trouble as of now following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s declaration that the Trinamool Congress would be pulling out of the UPA Government.

The Congress Core Group met at Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s official 7, Race Course Road residence here earlier today to decide on the next step in wake of the TMC withdrawal from the ruling UPA Government.

The meeting of the Congress Core Group, which included Dr. Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, lasted for nearly two hours.

Trinamool Congress, the second biggest constituent of the UPA with 19 MPs, dealt a major blow to the Manmohan Singh Government when it decided to withdraw its support on the issue of petroleum price hike, FDI in retail and corruption.

The TMC’s decision brings the UPA’s effective strength in the 545-seat Lok Sabha from 273 to 254, which is slightly below the halfway mark.

This would make the Congress-led UPA Government more dependent on the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), both of which extend outside legislative support to the UPA regime. (ANI)