Kolkata: Accusing the Congress-led UPA of crossing all "Laxman Rekhas" by taking "anti-people decisions", Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday warned the central government that her party would not be cowed by any browbeating tactics.

Participating in a discussion on FDI in retail trade in the West Bengal assembly, Banerjee hit hard at the Congress-led centre, saying, "Because of their policies, people now have their back to the wall".

Days after her party quit the UPA protesting its decisions to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, hike diesel prices and restrict the supply of subsidised cooking gas cylinders, Banerjee said: "We cannot afford FDI in retail, it will spell doom for the middle class."

Banerjee said 50 crore people in India are dependent on the retail market for their livelihood.

"We want to stand by these people, show solidarity with them. Whatever has been done is not right."
In an obvious reference to the central government's decision to relocate to Uttar Pradesh's Agra the global partnership summit slated to be held here January 2013, Banerjee said: "If some people say we will take away this, we will remove that, I tell them you can't do anything by browbeating us."

"They want to starve us. But they don't know the soil of Bengal is indeed tough."

Banerjee said her party had shown enough patience for the last 40 months.

"We had made a commitment to the people to support the UPA government for five years. We told them (UPA) not to raise diesel prices, petrol prices, LPG prices repeatedly. But they did not listen."

The Chief Minister asked why did the UPA government take so many decisions simultaneously.

"The question is why did they take so many steps at the same time? What is the mystery behind it? Why was the decision to disinvest four PSUs announced on the same day?"

"It was a nightmare. What was the need?" she said.

Banerjee said her party never pleaded with the central government for appointment of governors, judges, Human Rights Commission members, or minority commission members of its choice.

She regretted that despite having 29 MPs, her party was till date not allotted even a party office in parliament.

"But Lalu Prasad with fewer MPs has got one.""We never demanded even a paisa from NDA or UPA," she said.

The Trinamool had backed the NDA government for a number of years during then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's reign.

Banerjee did not spare the state's main opposition Left Front either.

"They talk of haves and have-nots. But when they were in power, they forgot the have-nots. They have thrown (Karl Marx's) 'Das Capital' into the dustbin."


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