LASHING OUT at the erstwhile Left Front government for leaving the state in huge debt, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the development work carried out under her tenure “can’t be matched in 400 years”.
Claiming that the state’s per capita income growth rate is nearly double than that of the national average, Mamata said 600 per cent growth has been registered in developing the state’s infrastructure.
“Bengal has overcome all financial hurdles. When the country’s per capita income growth rate is 6.1 per cent, our state’s rate is 12.48 per cent… From agriculture to industry to infrastructure, Bengal has made rapid progress. We have set up 70 new police stations, eight coastal police stations, 19 human rights courts, 45 women police stations and 88 fast-track courts,” Mamata said, while addressing the Jangalmahal Utsav in West Midnapore district.
Accusing the Left Front of plunging Bengal in a state of penury, she said, “For 34 years, these people did nothing yet incurred so much debt and ruined three generations of the state, and now they are talking big. What we have done in mere four and half years, many can’t match that even in 400 years.”
The Chief Minister also attacked the Centre for deducting over Rs 1 lakh crore towards servicing debts incurred by the previous Left Front regime. With an eye on upcoming Assembly polls this year, Mamata enumerated the various social security schemes and harped on the “all-round development” carried out by her government.
“From new super specialities hospitals to sick newborn care units (SNCUs), from critical care units to mother and child hubs, from fair price medical shops to diagnostics centres, we have made a lot of infrastructural development in the field of health,” Mamata said.
The CM further claimed that over seven crore people in the state have been brought under food security scheme. “Already 7.7 crore people have been brought under the food security scheme. Rice and wheat are being given at Rs 2 per kg,” she said.
Mamata countered the opposition’s campaigns against her by asking them to “shut up”. “If you can fight, then fight. If you can develop, then do it. If you can accept the challenge then do it. But if you can’t, then shut up and let us carry ahead with development,” the CM said.
The five-day Jangalmahal Utsav would focus on tribal music, folk songs from Bengal and also showcase the handicrafts from the south Bengal tribal region. Mamata also distributed prizes for the Jangalmahal Cup in sports like football, kabaddi and archery held in West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and Birbhum districts.
“I love coming to Jangalmahal to see your smiling faces. Talents are in plenty in this region,” she said, adding there were over 42,000 participants this year for the Jangalmahal Cup and similar sports events were held in the Sundarbans as well.
Mamata, who inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for a bouquet of projects in West Midnapore district, asked all participants to register their names in the employment bank. She allocated funds for the construction of a stadium here and another at Kharagpur.
Referring to the steps taken in the tribal areas, she said development of the Kendu leaf collectors and insurance schemes for them have been taken up. The region has immense tourist potentials like Mukutmanipur, Ayodhya Hills and Jhargram Rajbari, the CM said and stressed the need for further development of the entire area to attract tourists.
She also expressed hope that the two-day Bengal Global Business Summit, beginning from January 8 in Kolkata, would help develop the region.