New Delhi, Aug. 1: The Trinamul Congress today indicated it would focus on funds for Bengal during Parliaments monsoon session rather than walk the extra mile to defend the Centre against the expected Opposition assault over corruption and price rise.
Trinamul MPs will try to pressure the Centre to release funds for Bengal by raising the issue during Zero Hour in both the Houses, the partys Lok Sabha chief whip Sudip Bandyopadhyay said.
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had yesterday met Trinamul MPs in Calcutta, a day ahead of the start of the monsoon session, and briefed them to keep raising the subject in the House.
Sudip said: In the monsoon session, Trinamul will raise the issue of a special economic package for Bengal. Thirty-four years of CPM rule has made the state bankrupt and it urgently needs assistance. It is a genuine demand.
Mamata had on Saturday expressed her displeasure in public over the Centres delay in releasing funds for Bengal. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has now stepped in and taken charge of mediations with her, given the importance of the key allys support in Parliament when the Opposition attacks the government.
Trinamul, however, appears somewhat lukewarm about taking up the cudgels on behalf of the government.
Asked about price rise and corruption, Sudip said: Trinamul is firmly against corruption and price rise. We feel corruption should not be tolerated. The government cannot be allowed to be tainted because of a handful of people. The law should take its course and the guilty must be punished.
Asked about the Oppositions plans for a stormy session, Sudip said Parliament should function and all issues should be debated. He refrained from criticising the Opposition for targeting the Prime Minister and the Centre.
He, however, stressed that Trinamul had full faith in Singh and his government. We are totally with the Prime Minister and the government. There should not be an iota of doubt about it, he said.
Only a handful of Trinamuls 19 Lok Sabha MPs have reached Delhi but party leaders said the entire team would be here in a day or two.
The Opposition attack is expected to start tomorrow, with the BJP and the Left having moved adjournment motions for suspension of Question Hour to debate the price rise.