All options open for presidential polls, says Mamata (Lead)May 4th, 2012 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Friday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding her demand for interest moratorium to the state and said her party’s options for the presidential polls were open.
“Our options are all open. There has been no talk regarding candidature (in presidential elections). There is time. If they want to talk, they will let us know,” Banerjee told reporters after her meeting with the prime minister at his 7 RCR residence.
Banerjee did not directly answer a question about possibility of Pranab Mukherjee emerging as the Congress choice in the presidential polls.
“I am myself (there) first,” she quipped.
Trinamool Congress sources said the party was likely to back a Congress nominee in the polls. Banerjee had Thursday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Banerjee told reporters at length about her demand for a three-year moratorium on interest payment and indicated she had not got any immediate commitment from the prime minister.
“I cannot say about his opinion. Serious discussions are taking place,” she said and added that no solution had so far been found.
Banerjee had April 21 given a 15-day ultimatum to the central government to accept her demand and warned that its “indifferent attitude” could become a “big issue.”
However, she did not refer to any deadline Friday and added that she will wait for a few days.
“I did not talk of deadlines. If it doesn’t happen, we will see.”
She said talks was part of the democratic process and it was the duty of chief ministers to raise issues concerning the states.
Banerjee said the state was not in a position to pay interest on debt incurred by the Left Front government.
“It is the only state which had 35 years of misrule,” Banerjee said.
The chief minister also indirectly blamed the central government for the state’s financial woes, saying that the previous Left Front government had been given sanctioned loans with the help of finance ministry.
Banerjee said her government did not have funds even for development projects.
She also demanded a national holiday to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.
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