A day before the commencement of the third Bengal Global Business Summit being organised by the Trinamool Congress government here, the Opposition parties slammed it as a “poll stunt” and “drama”, predicting doom for the two-day event.
“It is nothing but a drama to fool the masses. No industry will come up in Bengal until and unless law and order situation in Bengal is taken care of,” said BJP national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh. “Why will an industry come up in the state when there is complete lawlessness and syndicate raj?” he added.
Echoing similar views, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who was in Kolkata for the party’s state committee meeting, said, “It is the last festival of Mamata Banerjee before the elections. There had been no investment in the last episode of the summit and there will not be any in this as well.”
Singh also pointed out that most of the investment last year which the Chief Minister had boasted of had come from the Centre. “Nearly 90 per cent of the MoUs that had been signed last year had been related to projects of the central government. We welcome federal competition and therefore Bengal Summit is good and central government is committed to helping investment into the state. But it is important that the environment is investor-friendly. Unfortunately incidents like Kaliachak and syndicate systems under TMC don’t help industrialisation,” the BJP leader said.
Meanwhile, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury termed the summit as a state-sponsored picnic. “It is a New Year’s picnic hosted by Mamata Banerjee in order to woo investors at the cost of the exchequer,” Chowdhury said.
Claiming that the business summit will “complete” the process of “de-industrialisation” in the state, state CPM secretary Surya Kanta Mishra said, “We have seen many summits in the last four years. But none of them bore any results. Rather those industries which were there in Bengal have closed down and moved to other states due to the misrule of TMC.
“Until and unless the party which was involved in forcing industries out of the state is removed from power, no industry will come up here. This summit will complete the process of deindustrialisation of Bengal,” Mishra, who is also the Leader of Opposition in state Assembly, said.
Mishra claimed that after last year’s summit, there had been investment proposals of about Rs 2.43 lakh crore but most of it was non-existent. “There had been proposal of Rs 17,000 crore, but initial signature had been done for only Rs 600 crore. Besides, most of the industrial development which she is claiming credit for is the work of the previous Left Front government,” he said.
Referring to TMC’s agitation against Tata Nano car project at Singur in 2006 when it was in the opposition, Mishra said it is an irony that the party which had destroyed the industrial prospects of Bengal is organising business summits. He added that the CM should come clean about her assurances at Singur as well as Haldia, Durgapur, Asansol and North Bengal which never materialised.
“She is not prepared for industries here. There is no infrastructure and the demand for power has fallen which is an indicator that there is lack of industrialisation here. There is only one solution to it. Those who have driven investment out of this state, should be driven out as well,” Singh said.
He said if voted to power in this year’s assembly election, the CPM-led Left Front will go for industry at Singur by taking along all stakeholders.
Dismissing the Opposition, TMC said it was the misrule of the Left during which the flight of capital took place in Bengal and hence it has no right to talk about industrialisation. “What have they done during their 34 years of rule? It was during their tenure that the flight of capital has taken place in Bengal, several big industries have moved out of the state,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.