Mamata for all-party meet to defuse Parl deadlock

New Delhi: Amid continuing standoff between the government and Opposition in Parliament, key UPA ally Trinamool Congress today suggested that an all-party meeting should be called to defuse the crisis, saying the Opposition needs to be taken taken into confidence over the issue.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said the Opposition has a "prerogative" to raise issues but indicated that it was for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to decide whether or not to accept the demand for his resignation.

"Meeting of all-political parties is very nuch needed to resolve the issue. On what format Opposition wants discussion must be discussed with them. We must take Opposition into confidence. There are so many big issues and it can be sorted out through talks, negotiation and discussion," Mamata told reporters when asked about the way forward to resolve the current impasse in Parliament.

Parliament remains deadlocked for the third consecutive day with the main Opposition BJP unrelenting on its demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over CAG report citing irregularities in coal block allocations.

The Trinamool chief said, "Parliament is a foundation of democratic system. Our view is that if any issue or scandal is raised then there must be full debate on it. Opposition must raise the issue as it is their prerogative. It is democracy and it is their prerogative to raise the issue," Mamata told reporters here.

On the demand for PM`s resignation, she said "Opposition parties can raise it, it is their prerogative to raise. If I ask you to resign right now will you resign. It depends upon you."

Mamata, who met Finance Minister P Chidambaram, is slated to meet Prime Minister today.

Expressing concern over the plight of farmers, Mamata sought the Centre`s help in controlling fertiliser prices.

"After the decontrol of fertiliser, farmers are facing a lot of problems. Subsidy in fertiliser was withdrawn in 2010 as it was decontrolled. In our country 75 per cent of fertiliser comes from import and domestic fertiliser is only 25 per cent," the West Bengal Chief Minister said after meeting Chidamabram. This is her first meeting with Chidambaram after he became Finance Minister.

Demanding revival of subsidy in fertiliser, she said, "Farmers are not being able to buy fertiliser due to the high price. It`s a bad situation. Fertiliser is under the Centre so I have asked for subsidy in fertiliser to control the price.

There are big farmers and small farmers. In Bengal poor farmers cannot afford imported fertiliser."

Raising the issue of bad condition of National Highways in West Bengal, Mamata said, "We have so many highways in bad condition in the state. Conditions are very bad on NH-6, NH-34 and NH -11."

Asked whether she raised the issue of state`s demand for financial package, she said, "Our state Finance Minister Amit Mitra will soon meet Chidambaram…they will discuss the state`s finance in details."

She was more upfront on FDI issue saying no to it in any sector. "We are not in favour of FDI. Whether in insurance, aviation or retail, we are against FDI. we stand by our manifesto and we are for common people. we would not deviate from it."

Asked about FDI in aviation sector, she said we are not in favour of it. We want Air India should be saved.

Asked whether the centre is doing enough on Naxal issue, Trinamool supremo claimed there is no Naxal problem in West Bengal. "The Darjeeling and Junglemahal issues are also settled now. She said the credit should go to the people of West Bengal for this.

Calling upon the Naxals to join the mainstream, she said the people who are fighting with goons and guns should join the national mainstream and we are ready to take care of their families."