KOLKATA: Denying that the Congress tried to reach her on economic reforms, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee accused the Congress of distorting facts and urged party leaders not to distort facts.
Addressing a press conference, Mamata said: "I request Congress leaders not to distort facts. They must communicate reality."
Finance Minister P Chidambaram has earlier said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had tried to speak to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee four days ago but she did not respond.
"We tried to speak to her four days ago, and the prime minister tried to speak to her, and left a message for her that she can speak... But we have not heard anything," Chidambaram told reporters.
Mamata said no attempt was made by the Prime Minister to contact her after the new reforms were announced.
"The Centre's claim that the Prime Minister tried to contact me is wrong. The Centre was never in touch with me. I request Congress leaders not to distort facts," said Mamata.
"I want to say this to them, you cannot control us. We are transparent. People know our credentials," she added, while charging the ruling UPA Government of taking decisions unilaterally.
Increase cap on subsidised LPG to 24
Mamata also said that the government must withdraw FDI in retail and asked the Centre to provide subsidy on 24 cylinders in a year.
"How can they say the states are free to accept or not accept FDI. When the centre makes a policy, it is applicable to the whole country. The government should give at least 2 cylinders minimum per month. How can they survive on just six? Only if they are on a diet with no tea/coffee and are super humans," she said.
"UPA is always talking about economic reforms. Reforms come from the grassroots, it cannot come from the sky. It is for the country, the people of the country," she added.
UPA govt is anti-farmer
Saying that the UPA government is anti-farmer, Mamata lashed out: "The fertilizer prices have gone up 75 percent. When the honourable President was the Finance Minister, there was a statement in the house that they will not implement this without consent of the states. I was never informed about FDI decisions. They had set up a coordination committee - and that has vanished. And they have taken all the decisions unilaterally."
"We cannot cheat the people. Whatever we say on our manifesto, we have a commitment. Our ministers will now resign," she added.
Why did TMC pull out?
Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, had demanded the government reverse its decision to raise diesel prices and open India's supermarket sector to investment from foreign chains such as Wal-Mart Stores.
Retail reform was among a series of "big bang" economic reforms launched last week. They are seen as crucial to reviving India's flagging economic growth, reining in a bloated fiscal deficit and warding off the spectre of a credit rating downgrade.
But the measures sparked a furious backlash from Banerjee and other political parties, who condemned them as a needless attack on India's hundreds of millions of poor people.
How are the number stacked up?
The pullout of her Trinamool Congress party (TMC) on Tuesday evening is unlikely to topple the government as Singh can count on two other powerful regional parties outside the coalition to prop it up. But both these parties are also opposed to retail liberalisation, which could once again endanger a closely watched policy that stalled last year after street protests.
The withdrawal of the 19 TMC MPs in the lower house of parliament puts the government in a minority.
But it is unlikely to destabilise the coalition in the short term. Congress has the formal support of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), who have a combined total of 43 seats in parliament, to keep it afloat. It needs a minimum of 272 seats out of 543 in the lower house.
"The government will survive. We have the numbers," said Tom Vadakkan, media secretary for the Congress party. "We've done our calculations. We have 272." (Agencies)
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