New Delhi:West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, who met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here Monday for talks on the state government’s demand for moratorium on interest payment, said that discussions remained incomplete.
“The discussions shall go on… when they conclude, we will come back to you,” Mitra told media persons waiting outside the finance ministry at North Block of the Secretariat.
He said he will apprise Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about the progress of his talks. The meet comes amid speculation about a link-up between West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress’s demand for the moratorium on interest payments and its support to Mukherjee’s possible candidature in the country’s presidential poll.
Banerjee, whose party is a constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), has asked the central government for a three-year moratorium on the payment of interests by the state on the “huge financial debt taken during the Left regime”. With her demand remaining unfulfilled, Banerjee has stayed aloof from the momentum in support of Mukherjee’s candidature for presidency.
A senior West Bengal Congress leader Manas Bhunia Sunday appealed to Banerjee to support Mukherjee’s candidature. Banerjee had earlier mentioned Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi as her preferences as the presidential candidates.