Mamata to stall any move to shift Coal India headquarters

July 20th, 2008 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Kolkata, July 20 (IANS) Strongly opposing the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s (JMM) reported demand to shift the Coal India headquarters from here to Ranchi, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Sunday vowed to stall any such move even if the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government conceded to do so to ensure its own survival. “We are getting to know from the media that some people want the Coal India headquarters to be moved from Kolkata to Ranchi. Some people are also laying claims on parts of West Bengal. And the government is saying ‘yes’ for its own survival,” Banerjee told newspersons at her residence here.

“We are not bothered about who (JMM chief) Shibu Soren votes for (in Tuesday’s trust vote). But we won’t allow the Coal India headquarters to be moved from Kolkata, or if anybody lays claim to Bankura, Purulia or West Midnapore districts of West Bengal,” she said.

The Trinamool president’s strong comments came hours after the JMM decided to support the UPA government in the 22 July trust vote in the Lok Sabha.

“Each state has its own sentiments. How will the people of Orissa take it if somebody says the Jagannath temple be moved out of Puri, or the Nalanda university be taken out of Bihar?” Banerjee asked.

Launching an attack on the UPA, she said: “If anybody says yes to garner some votes, we will ask them not to accept any such immoral request.”

Continuing the suspense on her party’s stand during Tuesday’s confidence motion, Banerjee said she would announce the decision Monday at her party’s rally in Kolkata on the Martyrs’ Day. Trinamool has only one member in the Lok Sabha — Mamata herself.

She scotched media reports that she would abstain from voting. “We are yet to take a decision. We have to discuss the issue in the party.”

The Trinamool Congress observes July 21 as Martyrs’ Day every year in memory of 13 Congress supporters who were killed in police firing on that day in 1993. Banerjee was then in the Congress.

With the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and three other Left parties withdrawing support to the Manmohan Singh government following the UPA’s move to go ahead with the India-US civil nuclear deal, the Congress-led dispensation has opted for a trust vote Tuesday.

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