Kolkata: On a day when people across the country are excited to witness ambitious Chandrayaan-2's soft-landing on the lunar surface, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday attacked the government saying that the mission's launch is an attempt to divert attention from 'economic disaster.'
"As if the Chandrayaan launch is the first in the country. As if before they came to power, no such missions were taken up. It is an attempt to divert attention from economic disaster," she said in the state Assembly.
Once 'Vikram' module of Chandrayaan 2 makes a soft landing on the moon on early Saturday, India will become the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to achieve the feat.
After revolving around the earth's orbit for nearly 23 days, the craft began its journey to the moon on August 14. The mission took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22.
Quoting former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Chief Minister said that the government should concentrate more on the economy than on political vendetta. According to government data released recently, the GDP slump to a six-year low of 5 per cent in the April-June quarter.
Accusing Centre of political vendetta, Mamata said: "Suddenly all political leaders are thieves. Chidambaram is being sent to Tihar jail. What is going on? I am shocked why opposition parties are not uniting against such atrocities. All are sitting silent. We don't know whether Chidambaram is an accused or not but how can we forget he was our finance and home minister. Law will take its own course but why Chidambaram will be kept inside Tihar jail like normal custody?" she said.
On Thursday, former finance minister P Chidambaram was sent to judicial custody till September 19 in Tihar jail by a special CBI court in the INX media case.
Mamata said that there is no alternative to a movement. "Come together keeping our differences aside and let's start a movement against such atrocities," she added.
The chief minister claimed that names of "genuine Indians" were excluded from the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which aims to segregate Indian citizens living in Assam from those who had illegally entered the state from Bangladesh.
"All pillars of democracy- media, judiciary- all being run by central advisories. Names of genuine Indians have been excluded from NRC list," she said.
Nearly 19 lakh people were excluded from the final NRC list. However, those excluded can still apply to the designated Foreigners' Tribunals within 120 days for their cases to be heard.
Mamata said that she spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar about NRC. "He (Nitish) also said that he won't allow National Register of Citizens (NRC)," she said.
The West Bengal Chief Minister also said that she is against the manner, in which Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped.
"People take a dig at Indira Gandhi for the emergency. But I don't know what to term the present situation? Is this an emergency or fascism? I am not against the abrogation of Article 370. I am against the process and there should have been an all-party meeting before the decision," she said.