Sanjay Basak, Asian Age Correspondent
New Delhi, 16 December 2012. Political equations seem to be changing with the RSS’ mouthpiece, Organiser, recently praising Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, who on Saturday returned the compliment by describing the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat as a state that has been “nurtured and it is progressing”.
While Ms Banerjee attacked the Left parties for lack of industrialisation in West Bengal and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the government’s FDI decision, Ms Banerjee praised the Modi government, saying: “Gujarat has been nurtured and it is progressing”.
Ms Banerjee, who was part of the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led NDA, countered Prime Minister Singh’s criticism of those opposing FDI in retail, saying she was with the common man who was “outdated”. Ms Banerjee, who is visiting New Delhi for the first time after quitting UPA-II, will be meeting some leaders who voted against the government on FDI in multi-brand retail. She will also be meeting BSP supremo Mayawati on Monday.
The RSS mouthpiece in its editorial described Ms Banerjee as a “rare breed of politicians, who have not made money-making their raison d’être in politics”. The Organiser added that the “country needs dozens like her”. As for lack of development in Bengal, the Organiser backed her, stating that “Mamata Banerjee has never claimed to have a magic potion that would transform West Bengal into a wonderland overnight. It is an arduous task.”
Speaking at the 85th AGM of FICCI, she blamed the lack of industrialisation in Bengal on the “35 years of Left rule”.
In a two-pronged attack, she demanded to know how the Centre allowed the previous government to incur such massive debts. “Bengal is one of the most debt-ridden states in India,” she said.
Taking on the PM on FDI in multi-brand retail, she said, “What can we do? We are grassroots-level people, we are the representatives of the people. And the common man is outdated. I am proud to say we are with the people.”