Mamata challenges government version
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today 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.
Railway minister Mukul Roy, who flanked her, said that as a cabinet minister he had not received any message from thePMO 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
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