Mamata slams Centre on Air India issue, GST rollout

Purba Burdwan
29 Jun 2017

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today criticised the Narendra Modi-led Union government for trying to 'privatise' the national carrier Air India and introduce GST in a "hurried" manner, saying "we do not support this".

"They (Centre) are trying to sell Air India entirely. Air India is the nation's pride. We don't support this," Mamata said at a public meeting here. The Union cabinet had on Wednesday cleared disinvestment of the beleaguered national airline, Air India, which has floundered amid stiff competition from no-frills rivals and reported at least seven years of losses. "The Centre is also trying to shift the Tea Board of India headquarter from Kolkata," she claimed. In a veiled but obvious reference to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she alleged: "Attempts are being made to throttle democracy. There is dictatorship in the country. They think they will rule forever". "If anyone raises voice of protest, central agencies like IT and CBI are unleashed. Even Media is not spared. But I am not afraid of it. We are with the people," she said.

"No one was protesting against policies of the Centre due to fear. But someone has to bell the cat. I will do it", she added. The chief minister also slammed the Centre for "introducing GST hurriedly". "We were in favour of GST. But they have changed many things. Starting from medicine, they have imposed tax. We have requested them not to implement it in a hurried manner. But they did not pay heed to it," she said.