Bengal Facing Economic Blockade by Centre: Trinamool

Alleging political vendetta by the Congress in turning down West Bengal's demand for a moratorium on the interest of its debts, the Trinamool Congress today said the state is facing an unprecedented indirect economic blockade.

"The Congress is still carrying out its political vendetta and an unprecedented indirect economic blockade has been put against the people of Bengal," TMC spokesperson and party MP Derek O'Brien said.

He pointed out that the Centre has taken away more than Rs 76,000 crore from Bengal during the past 35 months towards repayment of debt and interest.

"West Bengal was also denied the payment of another Rs 11,000 crore on different commitments made by the Centre, some of which violate Bengal's constitutional rights. Such ugly action is still on," he said.

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had yesterday brushed aside West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's demand for a moratorium on the interest of its debts.

The Trinamool said it was also stated in Parliament that the demand for a moratorium would be considered in right earnest.

"However, the Centre made a U-turn after TMC withdrew support from the government in protest against its anti-people policies," Derek said.

While the central government was denying West Bengal a moratorium or any kind of debt restructuring, it was giving commitments of USD 2 billion for restructuring of the debt of Greece, he said.

The party has also alleged that the Centre had allowed the previous Left Front regime in Bengal to perpetrate and perpetuate financial anarchy for more than three decades without adhering to fiscal discipline and resorting to FRBM.

"It is the constitutional obligation and duty of the Centre to extend helping hand to the states in hours of crisis."

"Centre cannot shirk off its responsibility over the mounting debt burden of Bengal as it remained silent onlooker to ghastly show of fiscal tyranny of its erstwhile (and probably would-be) ally, the CPI(M) in West Bengal for political quid pro quo," the TMC said.

Alleging that Chidambaram was "deliberately misleading the people of this country", the party said Bengal had got a financial package under the BRGF scheme, which was not a special favour to the state.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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