Buddhadeb accuses UPA of withholding state’s rightful dues

August 31st, 2010 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Kolkata, Aug 31 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Tuesday criticised the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, saying it was deliberately withholding the state’s rightful dues of Rs.1,260 crore.
Claiming that the state government has only got Rs.140 crore out of Rs.1,400 crore, which was its rightful dues to implement various development programmes, Bhattacharjee said the remaining amount has not been released despite writing to the prime minister and the finance minister.

“I wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the remaining amount. I had also written to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee,” Bhattacharjee said at a Left Front rally here.

“Now there is drought in our state. There has been no cultivation over 11 lakh hectares of land. The farmers are suffering. What will they do if there is no cultivation? We could have utilised the money on development programmes and also to tackle the drought situation. But so far the money has not been released. This situation cannot go on,” he said.

This was one of the strongest criticisms by Bhattacharjee against the Congress-led UPA government at the centre in recent times. While the state’s ruling Left Front and its main constituent Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has been unsparing in its criticism of UPA partner Trinamool Congress and its leader Mamata Banerjee, they had been relatively soft on the Congress and the UPA as a whole.

The CPI-M’s preferential treatment of the Congress has been attributed to its efforts to try and drive a wedge between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress whose alliance in the state decimated the Left Front in last year’s Lok Sabha polls.

The two opposition parties in the state had fought the civic polls in May separately.

But with the state slated to go for assembly polls next year, the Congress and the Trinamool have been coming closer over the past one month.

However, the chief minister’s strongest attacks were directed at the Trinamool and its chief. Bhattacharjee pilloried Banerjee for making “utterly false allegations” against the CPI-M on the Stephen Court building fire in March, as also the train tragedies at Jhargram in May and Sainthia in July.

Banerjee and her party leaders have accused the CPI-M of being involved in each of the incidents.

“What they say are blatant lies. The repeat the lies so that at least some people are convinced. She also accuses of trying to engineer riots. She even claimed that an attempt had been made to murder her when she was returning from Lalgarh Aug 9. It was a baseless allegation.

“I am sure people are not going to stomach such lies for long. They are also not going to accept such a horrendous force,” Bhattacharjee said at the rally organised to mark the anniversary of the food movement in the state in the 1960s.

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