Attacking the government on FDI in retail and prise rise, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today indicated that her party may bring a ‘no- confidence motion’ against it in the next Parliament Session and appealed to various political parties to support it.
At a protest rally at Jantar Mantar here, which was attended by NDA convenor Sharad Yadav, Banerjee said that she had “heard” that the general elections could be advanced and held in March next year.
“We also don’t want this government. If need be, we are ready for bringing a no-confidence motion against this government,” the West Bengal Chief Minister said while launching an all-out attack on the Congress-led UPA government. Trinamool Congress, which has withdrawn support to the government, has 19 MPs in Lok Sabha.
Banerjee, whose party organised the protest against FDI in retail, diesel price hike and LPG cap, said she could also bring a resolution against these decisions.
“I have heard that elections will happen in March. I am ready for a resolution,” she said.
She also appealed to other political parties not to support the government and asked them to support her party’s resolution against the recent decisions on FDI and other issues.
“I am ready to work with other parties to bring a resolution against the government in the next session of Parliament…I would request other political parties not to support this government,” she said.
Accusing the UPA government of acting against the interests of the common man, Banerjee said her party will campaign across the country from next month.
As part of this plan, she announced that TMC will hold a 48-hour dharna on November 19 and 20 in Delhi. She, however, said later that since these dates coincided with the festival of ‘Chhat Puja’, she accordingly had decided to shift the proposed agitation to November 22 and 23.
She said as part of its nation-wide programme, TMC will organise such dharnas at different places across the country.
Terming the government as “vindictive”, Banerjee accused it of misusing CBI to target its opponents.
“I want to caution everyone here. The central government is very vindictive. It will do so many things against us. If people protest, they use CBI to threaten them,” she said.
“I am not afraid of anything. I am not afraid of going to jail or dying. I have faced bullets but even then I work on roads and in the sun among the common people,” she said.
Taking a jibe at the central government, she said, “Why are you so angry if I have come to Delhi? Is Delhi out of India? If you are so angry, we will bring ice next time. But that too will be for common man only.”
She claimed that the decision to implement FDI in multi-brand retail has been taken only to benefit American multinational retail corporation such as Walmart.
“In the U,S it is mandatory for Walmart to do 70 per cent procurement from local companies. But our government even waived off the clause for 30 per cent local procurement. It is only to benefit the companies like Walmart,” she said.
She also asked the retailers to stage protests in the country and ensure that the FDI in retail is not implemented.
The TMC chief also spoke against the government’s decision to make mandatory the installation of digital set-top boxes for TV viewing in the metros.
“What was the need for this decision. Don’t they (government) want the poor people to watch cable TV,” Mamata asked.
Accusing the central government of indulging in corrupt activities, she said, “It was our duty to save the government. But the bigger duty is to save the country…We cannot be with a corrupt government.”
She also questioned the method of functioning of the central government
“They (the government) do whatever they want. They don’t ask, they don’t listen even when they don’t have majority to be in government,” Banerjee said.
On the decision to put a cap on supply of subsidised LPG cylinders, she said, “I have written to the central government asking them how do they plan to run schemes like mid-day meal and etc. Every state government should ask these questions. Nothing will happen with six cylinders and people will remain hungry.”
She said that she will hold protests in all the states and will exhort the people to overthrow the present government.
Reacting sharply to some disruption close to the dais during her speech, Mamata said that she has information of government “planting” its own people here.
“I had prior information that people will be planted here for causing disruptions. I will appeal to everyone to maintain calm and continue our meeting peacefully,” she said.
She apologised to the gathering at Jantar Manter for her “broken Hindi”. The dharna ended with the singing of the National Anthem.