Kolkata: Months after her party quit the Congress-led UPA government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday claimed she had wanted to remain in the government, but was forced to pull out as the Centre did not accede to her demands. "We did not want to leave the UPA. We were forced to do so since the Centre did not accept our demands for withdrawal of hike in diesel price, LPG cap and FDI entry in retail," Mamata, the Trinamool Congress supremo, told a party rally in Kolkata.
"We can never allow FDI in multi-brand retail. TMC has guts. What its says it does. We do not have lust for ministerial positions. Till I am alive I will not ditch the people to enjoy power," she said, adding, she had no family but the people. Dwelling on bulk purchase of diesel becoming costlier by Rs 11 and creating an additional burden of Rs 40 crore on state transport undertakings, she called for processions and meetings every evening in localities from Sunday.
Mamata, however, reiterated her opposition to bandhs and blockade, in an apparent hint at the February 20-21 general strike called by trade unions and Left parties. She claimed Congress and CPI(M) had teamed up against the Trinamool Congress. "Both in Delhi and Kolkata, there are continuous attempts to belittle the TMC by spreading canards against us."
Mamata who has been often attacked by her political rivals of being intolerant, said,"There was a time during the CPI(M) regime when people could not dare to criticise them. But a section of the media and the CPI(M) are spreading canards against us, since democracy has been restored in the state."
Alleging, some TV channels were working as stooges of the CPI(M) and Congress, Mamata said, "They are accusing us of not taking action against chit funds, but are taking advertisements from the chit funds. I have asked Finance minister Amit Mitra to inquire into this."
Mamata said the Nandigram and Singur movements were not the only factors which catapulted the Trinamool Congress to power. "So many people have been killed and tortured in Bengal. The struggle has been immense. We want the people of Bengal to look at the future with hope," she added.