Amid much criticism from Opposition parties, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday left on a five-day visit to Singapore, her maiden foreign tour, to attract investment. She is scheduled to meet Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, on Tuesday, as well as delegations of businessmen and traders. She is also scheduled to visit industrial parks and estates at Singapore.
The chief minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra, Secretary to Chief Minister Gautam Sanyal, Transport Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Commerce and Industry Secretary C M Bachawat, IT Secretary Satish Tewary, MD of WBIDC, Krishna Gupta, actor-turned MP Deepak Adhikary Dev, apart from a host of Kolkata-based industrialists, film producers and film makers from Tollygunge.
The Opposition slammed the visit by calling it a “drama”, alleging that the composition of the delegation itself shows lack of seriousness.
“The very composition of the CM’s delegations shows the utter lack of seriousness. What will those film people do there? Where is our land policy? Where is the land bank that she has been talking of for the last three years? How much investment has come to West Bengal since she came to power? A government should offer packages to willing industrialists. Does she have any? It is a five-day visit but what is she going to do all through the days? It is all drama that she is indulging in. Now we see Buddhadev Bhattacharjee was at least serious, that he really wanted industries. But this lady is not at all serious,” Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury, president of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee and MP from Berhampore, told The Indian Express.
Left Front Chairman and CPI(M) Politburo member Biman Bose asked if owners of chit funds were accompanying the chief minister. “She is going there with a 60-member delegation. There are 50 businessmen and industrialists there. But who are these people? Are they chit fund owners?” Bose asked.
The BJP had earlier said this was a colossal waste of public fund in a cash-strapped state. “The chief minister is going there for vacationing. She is also going there to siphon off the money she had got from chit funds. The trip could have been wound up in just one day,” BJP general secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said.
However the Ttrinamool Congress said the visit would yield good results for the state. “I am sure the visit will be a fabulous one,” Sudip Bandyopadhyay, TMC leader in Lok Sabha, said.