Burdwan (WB): Defending the agitation by Trinamool Congress MPs in Parliament over the Railway budget, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that they were only exercising their democratic rights to protest against ‘deprivation’ of Bengal.
“I was an MP for 23 years. I will not make any comment on what the Speaker said inside the House. But it was a democratic right to voice protest in a democratic manner. Bengal has been deprived. Trinamool Congress will give reply to such deprivation and insult to Bengal,” Banerjee said.
Addressing newsmen after attending an administrative meeting here, she said, “We want that those who are elected from Bengal will speak for the people, not just once but a thousand times against those who would deprive it,” she said.
Later addressing a public meeting here, she said that while she was the Railway minister, she had showered Bengal with projects as well as for other states.
“I have given 13 (new) trains to a small state Kerala. We are not beggers. Rights are not bestowed automatically, they have to be snatched,” Banerjee said.
She also slammed the Central government for the rise of prices of petrol and diesel, saying “prices of petrol and diesel were being increased on a regular basis. Prices of kerosene and fertilizers were also rising. What people will eat?”
Trinamool Congress workers staged protests on the issue at Bhowanipore in south Kolkata, the assembly constituency represented by the Chief Minister, and also outside the Eastern Railway Headquarters at Fairlie Place where they burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The protestors carried placards which read “Modijir acche din kothay gelo” (Where the acche din of Modiji have gone ? “Kender rail budget e Pashimbongo ke banchito karar jonnyo samastha manush ek hao” (All people of Bengal unite against deprivation of Bengal).
Ugly scenes were witnessed in the Lok Sabha yesterday when BJP and Trinamool Congress members came almost to blows over the Railway Budget whose withdrawal was demanded by members from West Bengal.