Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday challenged the central government's version that efforts were made to contact her, but without success.

"I was never informed of the decisions on allowing FDI in retail. I will request Congress leaders not to distort facts. They must communicate reality," she told reporters here contesting Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's statement in Delhi that the PMO had tried to contact her about decisions on diesel and FDI in retail, but without success.

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Railway minister Mukul Roy, who flanked her, said that as a cabinet minister he had not received any message from the PMO to communicate with Mamata Banerjee. Banerjee said, "Then why did they not tell it to the press? Why now? Sorry, you may control some channels. But you cannot control us."

Stating that her party gave a 3-day deadline to the Centre for withdrawal of the decisions, Banerjee said "UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was informed so that they should not misunderstand me. I never disrespect them. I know how to respect political leaders."

She said that President Pranab Mukherjee, when he was the union finance minister, made a commitment in Parliament that no decision would be implemented unless there was a consensus.

The Trinamool chief said that she respected the 'lakshmanrekha' in democracy and hoped that Congress would also not cross it.

Accusing the UPA government of taking a unilateral decision and that there would be no compromise, she said, "We cannot cheat the people. A political party's existence will be at stake if it deceives the people.

"I have no existence if we cheat the people. You have taken all the decisions unilaterally," she said, reiterating her demand for 24 subsidised LPG cylinders a year for each family and rollback of the diesel price hike and FDI in retail decision. Banerjee said, "It is argued that six cylinders will be enough for a year. Do they go for dieting and no eating? Our demand is that a minimum 24 cylinders a year be ensured by the government."

Mocking the Congress decision that party-ruled states would increase supply of subsidised LPG cylinders from eight to nine per household annually, Banerjee said, "The Centre will compensate for them for the money required.

"But our state is financially bankrupt. The Centre realises 50 percent central revenue from the states. How long will this drama continue?" she asked.

"They have to pass the bill in Parliament with regard to the decisions on FDI in retail. This cannot be implemented by force without passage in Parliament," Banerjee said.

"FDI, we are not, we are not. We are not. Rather, we will organised rallies every day against it," she said.

About economic reforms, Banerjee said, "Reforms cannot come from the sky. Reforms should be from the grassroots. It should reach the common people. It is for the country and not for any individual."

The Trinamool Congress supremo, who had been in alliance with the UPA since 2009, asked Congress not to browbeat the party and issue threats.

"Don't try to kill us economically. We are getting some information. Since we have withdrwan our support, the Centre can kill us economically," she said.


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