New Delhi: After forcing a partial roll back in rail fare hike, key UPA ally Trinamool Congress on Monday attacked the government for not providing a bail out package to debt-ridden states like West Bengal.
The attack came during the discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the Union Budget 2012-13 which saw Opposition targeting the government for raising certain taxes and seeking a relook.
"When we look at the Budget, a very unpleasant question comes into my mind...whether we are living as a federation?" Sukhendu Roy (Trinamool) said participating in the debate.
"It was disappointing to see that there was no whisper about bailing out the states which are debt-stressed," mainly West Bengal, which was reeling under over Rs two lakh crore debt burden, he said, adding that Punjab and Kerala were also facing similar problem.
Opposition BJP made a scathing attack on the government alleging that the "political deception and arrogance for power" of the Congress-led coalition are the root causes for non-formulation of national consensus on economic policies.
Initiating the discussion, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said friends and foes of the coalition feel it was "not trustworthy" and never has India witnessed a "breakdown of communication" between the government and the principal opposition party.
"The Trinamool Congress rightly feels shortchanged that Congress stole the affections of a vulnerable member of TMC who was a cabinet minister and got its agenda implemented through him", Jaitley said in hard hitting speech in the backdrop of the Dinesh Trivedi issue.
Wondering as to why the UPA was losing support, both of the friends and foes, Jaitley said, "The answer is clear. Political deception and arrogance of power are the root causes for non-formulation of national consensus on economic
He felt the 2012-13 Budget is directly opposite of post-1991 philosophy. If 1991 was a defining moment of the Indian economy, the present Budget has "killed the joy of that moment," he said.
In this context, he referred to the budget speech of 1991 by the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, where he said he had not relied on indirect taxes as a major source of resource mobilisation.
The Leader of Opposition in the Upper House contended that UPA-II is witness to two power centres today who are ideologically not on the same page as far as economic policies go, describing it "worrisome" for the country.
Mani Shankar Aiyar (Cong) said the Finance Minister has presented a "pragmatic" Budget, which has dashed Opposition's hope that it would have some controversial decision.
Suggesting that one must not look at subsidy as money wasted, Aiyar welcomed the funding for the National Food Security Bill and said there were two advantages of the legislation.