All options open for presidential polls, says Mamata (Second Lead)May 5th, 2012 - 12:35 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Friday gave a veiled warning to the Congress on her demand for interest moratorium to the state following her meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying her party’s options for the presidential polls were open.
She also reiterated her opposition to the central government’s proposed anti-terror hub.
“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.
She did not directly answer a question about possibility of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee emerging as the Congress choice in the presidential polls.
“I am myself (there) first,” she quipped.
Banerjee conveyed that the prime minister had not given a commitment on her demand for three-year interest moratorium and said she will wait for a few days.
“I did not talk of deadlines. If it doesn’t happen, we will see.”
She said in democracy, talks are always good. “We will keep talking. I am waiting for last 11 months for the solution,” she said.
“During the last 11 months, I have met the prime minister 10 times and finance minister 20 times. I am waiting for a few days, after that I will decide politically what can be done for my state,” she said.
Banerjee had Thursday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and is believed to have discussed presidential polls with them.
A Trinamool Congress leader indicated after her meeting with Gandhi that Banerjee was likely to back a Congress candidate in presidential polls.
Political significance was also being attached to her meeting with prime minister.
“I cannot say about his (prime minister’s) opinion. Serious discussions are taking place,” Banerjee said and added that no solution had so far been found.
She said she has struggled for the welfare of the people and expressed confidence that she will win ultimately.
Asked about possible problems of finance ministry in granting moratorium on loan repayment, she said she will go by what was good for her people.
“What is digestible to me is not digestible to the finance minister. The food which is digestible to my people is digestible to me. Whatever will be done, I will wait for few days.”
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 latter backtracked, saying it was not an ultimatum.
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,” she said.
Banerjee said her government did not have funds even for development projects.
“No other state has suffered like Bengal. Bengal is a special case. We have to pay Rs.22,000 crore as interest on loan repayment on central loan,” she said.
Banerjee also continued her opposition to the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre.
She said both the central government and states had their boundaries which cannot be crossed.
“NCTC is interference with the federal structure,” Banerjee said.
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- All options open on presidential polls: Mamata - May 04, 2012
- Mamata backtracks; says it was an appeal, not ultimatum - Apr 24, 2012
- Mitra meets Pranab, says discussions incomplete - Jun 11, 2012
- 'Chalo Delhi' if no moratorium on interest payment: Mamata - Jul 21, 2012
- No link between president poll, financial package: Mamata - Jun 13, 2012
- Presidential poll: Mamata meets Sonia as Congress seeks UPA consensus (Lead) - May 03, 2012
- President polls: Congress hopes for Mamata's support - May 03, 2012
- Pranab Mukherjee is Congress's first choice for president (Lead) - Jun 13, 2012
- Panel looking into Mamata ultimatum: Mukherjee - Apr 23, 2012
- Mamata gives Centre 15-day ultimatum on tax moratorium (Lead) - Apr 21, 2012
- Mamata moots all-party delegation for central assistance - Jun 29, 2012
- Mamata gives 15 days for interest moratorium, Congress downplays ultimatum (Second Lead) - Apr 22, 2012
- Asking for interest moratorium is Bengal's right: Mamata - May 02, 2012
- Chidambaram calls for dialogue on Bengal's finances - Jul 06, 2012
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