Focus on Delhi, save the nation: Mamata’s advice to Congress

Kolkata, Feb 17 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday advised the Congress to focus on Delhi to “save the nation” instead of eyeing her state.

“Congress ran the central government for a long time. They should focus on Delhi to save the nation first. Do not eye Bengal,” the Trinamool Congress supremo said at an official function here.

Lashing out at the Centre’s principal ruling party BJP, Banerjee referred to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s dismissal of the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation exercise as “an organised loot”.

“I am a layman but even an economist like Dr. Manmohan Singh said demonetisation is an organised loot,” Banerjee said at the inauguration of a booster pumping station in South Kolkata’s Harish Park.

There has been lot of speculation in the recent past about Banerjee’s Trinamool coming close to the Congress at the national level. However, the state Congress has been aggressively opposing the Banerjee-led government both within and outside the assembly.

Dubbing the BJP as a party that only thrived on ‘loot and vandalism’, she alleged that it has “destroyed the nation’s economy”.

With the BJP trying to position itself as the principal opposition force in the state and sharply attacking her off and on, Banerjee said: “They should first set their own house in order before interfering in other’s matters.”

Talking about the Communist Party of India-Marxist, that spearheaded the state’s Left Front government for 34 years till 2011, the Chief Minister said, “People have given a lot of chances to the CPI-M; not anymore. They are a lost case now.”

Banerjee said the improved infrastructure at the state-run hospitals and several Mother and Child Hubs across the districts have bettered healthcare facilities in the state while significantly reducing the infant mortality rate in the last five years.

“We have set up SNCUs (Sick Newborn Care Unit), HDUs (High Dependency Unit), Mother and Child Hubs across districts. We started a breast milk bank. Infant mortality rate has decreased from 32 to 26 in the last five years,” she said.