Accusing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of appeasing imams and social activists because she was unsure of public support, WBPCC President Adhir Chowdhury Tuesday reiterated the party’s stand to contest the Lok Sabha elections without any coalitions in the state. “Mamata Banerjee is appeasing imams and intellectuals and endorsing them as she is not sure of public support in the state. That is why she needs to appease them. We want to fight alone in Bengal and will fight alone,” Chowdhury said at a railway event here. Union minster of state for railways and the West Bengal Pradesh Congess president, Adhir Chowdhury Tuesday said that the projects initiated by former railway ministers Mamata Banerjee, Dinesh Trivedi and Mukul Roy were mostly to mislead the people.
Saying that the TMC leaders refer to him as a ‘half pant minister’ (an official of lower stature), Chowdhury said the former ‘full pant and full sari ministers’ had announced projects only looking at votes and misled the people. “The status of the projects which those people had announced, vis a vis the status of projects which I had announced; can be found out by anyone through an RTI,” he said at an event where he inaugurated the extended services of the Metro Rail.
Asked about Shahi Imam’s and Anna Hazare’s praises for Mamata, he said, “Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is resorting to Imams and social activists because she has lost faith in people.” Chowdhury said that All India Congress Committee vice president Rahul Gandhi would come to the state to campaign, adding, as directed by Rahul, senior Congress leaders from the state would be in the fray.
The minister’s comments invoked a scathing retort from the minister for urban development Firhad Hakim, who called him ‘totally useless, who did nothing for the state’. “It was during the ministership of Mamata Banerjee that projects like East-West metro, Garia-airport metro project were initiated. Now some useless, half-pant clad ministers have come to Rail Bhavan. Adhir Chowdhury should not board trains like Duronto Express, Uttarkanya Express (introduced by Mamata). The people of Berhampore will never forgive him,” Hakim said at Nabanna.
He also said that Chowdhury has criminal cases against him and he would lose his job once elections were declared. “This man can not bring money from Delhi. He has no access to cabinet meetings. In fact his party has become almost extinct in this state,” Hakim said.
Timing of Metro services extended
KOLKATA: With effect from March 25, metro will ply from 6.45 am to 10.45 pm instead of the present time of 7 am to 9.45 pm, Adhir Chowdury, Union minister of state for railways announced. Talking about the security system of metro rail, he said that a Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) has been introduced in which train, if it jumps a red signal inadvertently, would stop automatically. The project would cost over Rs 30 cr and will be effective from Dum Dum to Kavi Subhash stations. “Metro will also get some other smaller amenities which had been long due. All the coaches would have a fire extinguisher now. At least five stations would have lifts to carry senior citizens and physically challenged commuters,” he said.