New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, on Wednesday, released her party’s manifesto and declared that if the opposition alliance is voted to power in the Lok Sabha election, it will work for the revival of the Planning Commission, launch a judicial inquiry into the Narendra Modi government’s November 2016 demonetization and review the goods and services tax.
While releasing her party manifesto at her Kalighat residence in south Kolkata, Banerjee also made an “appeal” to the prime minister, Narendra Modi, to engage in an open debate with an opposition leader ahead of the general election.
Banerjee said, “The PM has never faced the press, never taken any direct questions from them. Let him sit for an open debate with an opposition leader, chosen by the opposition parties, before the elections. We can ask questions and seek clarifications.” And added, “he could also choose me for that job. But I know he won’t because I am a bad person in his book.”
Then she also clarified that this is not a challenge, merely an “appeal”.
The TMC manifesto promised a slew of other measures to counter the policy moves made by the BJP-led NDA government in the past five years. This include reviewing the GST implementation and reviving the Planning Commission, which was replaced by the the NITI Aayog.
Wondering whose interests the demonetization exercise served, Banerjee said, “We will initiate an inquiry under a former judge of the Supreme Court.”
Banerjee also criticized the way GST was rolled out and said, “The dual attack of demonetization and GST crippled the Indian economy. We will have to see if GST at all serves people’s purpose anymore. We need to review it with an experts’ committee and change the current structure of taxation, if required.”
Mamata Banerjee asserted that she looked forward to including manifesto’s proposals in the Common Minimum Program of the new coalition government. And said, “My job is not to thrust my opinion on others. We just say what we have to say on behalf of our party.”