Assuring people about West Bengal’s “industrial rejuvenation”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday advised them not to watch news channels as they spread “negative picture” about the government. Instead, she told them to watch “serials and listen to songs” to feel better and “positive”.
“People in Bengal should not be worried about industries. Several industries are coming to the state. There is a section (of media) that only spreads negativity and their work is to malign the state government. I would advise you not to watch the news channels. This section incites violence and bloodshed,” Mamata said while speaking at an administrative meeting in Nadia district.
The statement is being seen as a reaction to Ratan Tata’s remarks on lack of industrialisation in Bengal. Speaking at an interactive session in Kolkata on Wednesday, Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, had said, “There are no signs of industrial development in West Bengal.”
Mamata, without naming Tata, said, “Do not pay heed to the media. They want to spread lies. Keep your mind positive. I too have stopped watching news channels. After returning home, I listen to songs and I watch serials,” she said.
This is not the first time that Mamata advised the people of Bengal not to watch news channels that spread “false propaganda against the government”. Soon after a controversy broke over her government’s order disallowing certain newspapers in state-aided libraries in April 2012, she had asked people to watch music and entertainment channels, and only a particular news channel known to be close to the state government.
The chief minister, who addressed several public meetings in Krishnanagar and Shantipur in Nadia district, meanwhile, said her government won’t seek any “funds from the Centre if the latter stops taking away the major share of the revenue the state earns”. “We have increased our revenue earning, but the Centre is taking away a major part of it as part of debt repayment,” she added.
Criticizing the Narendra Modi government’s policies, Mamata said, “The Centre is planning to restrict 100-day work scheme to a few blocks only. What will people in other blocks do? This is injustice. Why is the Centre depriving people”?
Patting herself on the back, she said that Trinamool Congress government not only lays the foundation stone for a project, but actually implements it. “We have completed projects for which we laid the foundation stones. Indian Institute of Handloom Technology was inaugurated at Fulia today. We are developing MSME clusters in Nadia. We are setting up several “Karma Tirtha” marketing hubs in Nadia…500 such hubs are coming up across Bengal. An IIIT is coming up at Kalyani,” she counted.
On the issue of setting up of an AIIMS in Kalyani, Mamata said that the land has already been identified and the project would start soon.