The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mamata demands divestment of divestment

Calcutta, Oct. 3: A day after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee affirmed his support for the Centre’s disinvestment policy and told to stay within limits those who opposed it, Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said there is no need for the disinvestment ministry at all.

“It only intends to sell the profit-making public sector units on the plea of carrying out economic reforms,” Mamata said.

The former Union minister, who is still “angry” at the Centre over its failure to prevent Eastern Railway’s bifurcation, distanced herself further from the Prime Minister by virtually echoing RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan’s contention on the issue.

“The public sector is the nation’s pride, but the government is going ahead with disinvestment whimsically. There are areas like defence and communications, which can not be privatised in national interest. We cannot sell our mother simply to earn some money,” Mamata said.

Asked if she was siding with the RSS on the issue, the Trinamul leader said: “I do not know what the RSS or other organisations are saying.”

“We are not against modernisation but it has to be achieved with workers’ interests in mind. The Centre could easily revive Iisco with the money it is spending on VRS,” Mamata said. “The Centre and the state have reached a secret understanding on the issue,” she added.

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