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India to hold snap polls after budget proceedings
Publication Date : 27-09-2012
India's Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) will go in for a snap election next year after presenting a populist budget, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said yesterday.
But in an interview to CNN-IBN, the Trinamul Congress chief did not rule out the possibility of returning to the UPA at a later date.
"The UPA government will present a populist budget in March 2013 and will go in for snap elections immediately after that," said Banerjee, who ended her party’s support to the Manmohan Singh government last week. She said her party was ready for an election.
Asked if she could support the Congress again after the next Lok Sabha (Lower House) election, she said: "I can't say about tomorrow's strategy. The party will have to decide."
"But I'm fed up with them. I can't give my individual opinion. I've a party with me and I have to take them into confidence." In her first interview after withdrawing support to the UPA, Banerjee said she has no regrets. She said while Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav could prop up the Congress-led UPA for now, the government has lost its credentials to rule the world's largest democracy.
"This government never consulted any matter with any alliance partner," Banerjee complained. "Whatever they do, they do it quietly. This may be a stable government in the Congress eye, but it's not a safe and sound government."
She accused the Congress of using "money power, muscle power and mafia power" to cling to power. She branded the Manmohan Singh government "very arrogant".
The Trinamul Congress walked out of the UPA over the government's decision to hike diesel prices, allow FDI in multi-brand retail and put a cap on the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders per family.
She called the decisions "absolutely wrong". Miss Banerjee also denied that her party had endorsed FDI in its 2009 election manifesto. After saying that the Congress has lost the moral and democratic right to rule, Miss Banerjee came down heavily on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"Manmohan Singh is not a grassroot man. He has always come from the Rajya Sabha. Why is this decision on FDI in retail without passing it in the Lok Sabha?"
She said she was happy the Congress has left her in West Bengal.
“We are not dependent on them, they are dependent on us. They have already left us, we are happy.” The chief minister said she will be happy if all “regional” chief ministers come together to discuss the country’s future. “That’s best for the country. India should run from different parts of the country. That’s a good thing....”