Kolkata: Slamming West Bengal minister and Congress leader Manas Bhuniya for hitting out at chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress on Thursday said the Congress is “jealous” and “terrified” of Banerjee’s development work and is trying to defame her.
“The Congress along with CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) is doing these useless protests on issue of farmers. We are doing whatever we can do for the farmers,” said state industries minister and Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee.
“If they (Congress) want to protest they should go to Delhi and protest in front of the central government. What kind of principles of alliance politics are they maintaining by doing protests and maligning the government?”
The tense relationship between West Bengal’s two ruling parties nose-dived Wednesday after the Congress said the Trinamool Congress was the same as the Bharatiya Janata Party and a ‘B-team’ of the Left. A furious Trinamool asked the Congress to quit the state government.
“As a party worker I had to respond to the way the Congress and the CPI-M was creating an ill feeling about our party and our leader. We had to respond as they were trying to destroy the perception about our leader and our party but we are confident that people will identify the real enemies of Bengal who don’t want Bengal to go ahead,” said Chatterjee.
The state Congress unit had launched a state-wide agitation against the government, blaming it for mismanagement of agriculture – the reason behind the plight of farmers and thus leading them to commit suicide.
“The state government has fixed a target of buying 20 lakh (2 million) metric tons of food grains but till now only 201,000 metric tons have been procured,” Bhuniya, the irrigation minister, had said Wednesday.
He said that out of the 1,018 rice mills in the state, 350 are closed and the public distribution system through 28,873 ration shops was not functioning properly.
Asked about Bhuniya’s criticism of the state government, Chatterjee said: “It is not a good thing to criticize the same government and stay in the ministry. It is not a dignified way.”
The Trinamool leadership had on Wednesday challenged the state Congress by asking its ministries to resign, saying they won only because of Banerjee’s appeal.
“If they (Congress) think that we are so bad, then why don’t they leave the ministry and the post of MLAs which they won using the name of Trinamool and Mamatadi? They will not leave the ministry because they are greedy and they can’t win again without Mamatadi,” said sports minister Madan Mitra of the Trinamool.
“If they have the guts, they should leave the ministry. If they want they can go to CPI-M. Why they are staying with us? If they leave us, the Bengal government will not fall. But if we leave the UPA (United Progressive Alliance), the central government will fall. So they should not talk much,” he said