In a speech that sounded like a reply to allegations levelled by BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Governor M K Narayanan lauded the state government’s achievement on various fronts during his inaugural address of the budget session of the Assembly on Monday, even as the opposition parties termed it a “political speech” written by the ruling party.
Giving an account of the state’s achievements, Governor said that 98.26 per cent of schools in the state have toilets and 82 per cent have separate toilets for girl students. The governor also pointed out that more than 99 per cent primary and over 98 per cent upper primary schools are covered under the mid-day meal programme.
Political analysts said the figures quoted by Governor came in response to claims made by Modi who, while addressing a rally at Brigade Ground February 5, said that only 4 per cent of girls schools in West Bengal have toilets.
Narayanan also lauded the state government’s overall performance in curbing crime against women and holding free and fair panchayat polls. “The social evil of offences against women is being addressed and has been given the highest priority by the state administration,” Narayanan said in his speech.
He further said that the government had prepared a scheme to provide assistance to over 2.30 lakh small investors of the state who had lost their savings in the Saradha scam.
“ My government had taken prompt steps to set up a special investigation team ( SIT) which has been active in arresting all the accused persons, has completed the investigations and filed chargesheet in the multiple cases relating to the scam,” he said.
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Both the opposition Left and the Congress cried foul over the Governor’s speech and said it was a political document of the Trinamool, merely read out by the Governor. “The state tops the chart in crime and rapes on women. Law and order situation has gone for a toss. In the last panchayat elections, more than 60 people were killed in political clashes. So what the Governor read out today, is a political speech given to him by the state government,” Congress leader Manas Bhuniya said.
Leader of Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra demanded that the Chief Minister be present during Question Hour of the Assembly. “In the last two-and-a-half years, the Chief Minister has not replied to even two-and-a-half questions,” he said.