The spat between allies Congress and Trinamool refuses to subside with AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi today charging West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra with changing the goal posts on the issue of Central assistance to the state.
Singhvi's allegation at the AICC briefing came close on the heels of Mitra telling the Congress leader that money given to states from their share in central taxes was their 'legitimate right' under constitutional provisions and not 'mercy' by the Union government.
Mitra's reaction in Kolkata was to Singhvi's statement yesterday claiming that between May 20,2011 to February 6,2012 Rs 23,695 crore approximately was disbursed/released to state, dubbing as "complete error" the state Finance Minister's remarks that West Bengal has not received a paisa.
"Strange but unfortunate. Why somebody should underestimate factual details. Let us get the facts clear. Unfortunately Mitra wants to change the goal posts everytime", he said, adding that when he spoke about "allocation" Mitra spoke about "disbursal".
By talking about "allocation, he was talking about Mitra's blanket comment that not a paisa was given to West Bengal. Let us not change goalposts. Facts are sacred. Opinions may vary".
As for Mitra's charge that enough money was not being given by the Centre to West Bengal, Singhvi said no state accepts that enough has been given and it is a matter of perception.
"Facts cannot change because I am not an economist and somebody is not a lawyer," he said.
Congress and Trinamool Congress, despite sharing power at the Centre and in West Bengal, are not on the best of terms and have been at loggerheads on several issues in recent days.