New Delhi, Sep.20 (ANI): Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Thursday denied that the UPA-II Government is tapping the phone lines of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee.
"We have not tapped anyone's phones," Shinde said, when asked by media persons to respond to Banerjee's charge on the issue.
Earlier in the day, an agitated Mamata accused the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-II Government of getting her phone tapped.
Continuing her tirade against the Congress over the issue of economic reforms, Banerjee said at a press conference on Thursday: "If you have the central government in your hand you can get the phones tapped. It has happened with me before. My number had three copies. When I would go to Nandigram or Midnapore, I could not use my number, as it was being used in Kolkata."
She said she had filed police complaints then against the misuse of her phone.
"I have been in the central government, and I am aware about all these methods. There is no need to make me open my mouth," she added.
Banerjee also said she did not support the politics of shutdowns being pursued by the Left Front, as in her eyes it was anti-people and could cause irreparable damage to the economy.
"Left has ruined Bengal with bandhs (shutdowns). We will not tolerate bands. Disruptions should not be allowed. We will bring in new laws. We are going to introduce a strict law against such shutdowns. People disrupting transport system will be punished," she added.
Banerjee congratulated all those who came to work despite the shutdown call.
"There is a wave in Bengal that is work-oriented. We are not like the CPM, which will use cadre to enforce a bandh or combat it. Eighty-nine percent of government workers have turned up today. It's a record attendance. So many people don't come in normal days. This shows our work culture and the respect we have for businesses and the economy," said Banerjee.
"We took a decision not to support the bandh; a government should not support a bandh. We understand that the reasons are genuine, so we have not forced anything on the people," she added.
Banerjee further repeated that she was not in favour of the FDI in multi-brand retail.
"We object to the government's decision, we have made a political decision and withdrawn support. But the economy should not suffer because of that. Our politics is not in line with the CPI (M)'s ugly, corrosive, regressive politics which has sent the state to the dumps," said Banerjee.
"Every time the Centre hikes some fare, these people go on the bandh. What is this rubbish? There's no need to compel me to open my mouth. I have worked in the Centre and have been in politics to know that these bandhs don't work," she added.
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. (ANI)