Kolkata: Fuelling speculation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday claimed that the Lok Sabha elections will be held within the next 2-3 months and the railway portfolio may return to the Trinamool Congress.
"There is another two or three months after which the Lok Sabha elections will be held," Mamata told a programme here on International Women's Day Kolkata.
"If someone thinks that they will stifle Bengal's voice and stop railway projects, they can't do it. I have done whatever has to be done," Mamata, the Trinamool Congress chief, said in an apparent reference at the Congress-ruled UPA.
"The railways, if required will again return to the Trinamool Congress," Mamata said. She said, "When I was railway minister I had set up 16 factories for West Bengal."
Criticising the media, she said, "When I was railway minister, every day some channels used to telecast that there were cockroaches and rats roaming in trains. Have they gone to America?" Renewing her tirade against the UPA government, she accused it of increasing the prices of diesel, petrol, LPG and fertilisers 'daily'. "They are not listening to anyone and doing what they like."
She reiterated that the Centre was taking away funds from the state in the form of interest on loans. "The state earns 21,000 crore in revenue and has to pay interest of Rs 26,000 crore." Mamata also accused the union rural development department of trying to stop funds for the 100 days work in the state.
Criticising the previous Left Front government, she said "When the Left was in power the tally of 100 days work in the state was only 11 days. After we came to power we have increased it to 40 days. But now the Central government has stopped giving us funds."
Keeping in mind the ensuing panchayat elections in the state, she said that her government had made 50 per cent reservation for women in the panchayat. "We will give training to them to conduct the affairs of the panchayat," she said.