Kolkata: The massive salary hike for MPs came in for sharp criticism today by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who described it as shameful move amid people's suffering due to food price inflation and asserted his party MPs did not support the move.
"My head goes down in shame. When the country's people are reeling under huge food price inflation, their representatives are busy getting themselves such massive salary hike," he said in a memorial meeting for a departed party leader while blaming the Congress for allowing the huge raise in salaries and perks.
"Some are not happy with this also and want more, which country are we living in?" a livid Bhattacharjee wondered. He, however, disassociated CPI(M) MPs from the move, claiming "we believe in political ethics." Blaming the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for price inflation, he said, "Lakhs of tonnes of foodgrains are rotting in central stocks while people are starving."
He was speaking at the memorial of Santimoy Bhattacharya, party's secretary in adjoining South 24-Parganas district who died a few days back.
Training his guns on Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister said that the Trinamool Congress supremo was blaming CPI(M) for Jnaneswari Express mishap only to save the Maoists.
Recalling the May 28 Jnaneswari derailment that claimed 148 lives in West Midnapore, the chief minister said, "Trinamool Congress has contact with Maoists and so they are blaming us (CPI-M) to save them," he said.
The West Bengal Chief Minister claimed that the Trinamool Congress was repeating a lie in a bid to make it appear true, while cautioning his partymen against "such designs" of the opposition party.
Referring to the incident in which a truck hit a vehicle in the convoy of railway minister Mamata Banerjee at Kolaghat, Bhattacharjee said that apparently the truck's brakes had failed "but now they are alleging that it was a conspiracy to murder her." He questioned the Trinamool's political motive in making such allegations.
Truck driver Gurjant Singh of Sangrur district in Punjab is at present in the custody of the state CID on charges of conspiracy and attempt to murder. PTI