Rail Minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday said he has chalked out a list of 21 Bengal-oriented projects that were announced by the then rail minister Mamata Banerjee, but were subsequently stalled due to shoddy planning. “These were announcements for the sake of announcements. The paraphernalia which was supposed to be taken into consideration, had not been complied with.
“As a result, scores of rail projects were announced to earn kudos for Mamata and her ministers had been alleging that her initiatives were stalled by the Centre. We have been gathering evidence against those claims that are available through RTI,” he said and added Mamata used the rail ministry to increase her vote bank. “I can’t say I am washing my hands off her reckless projects worth Rs 4.5 lakh crore, but they are not viable,” he said.
On the allegations of Babul Supriyo under the Arms Act, he said he has been granted bail by the Beharmpore court in the murder case. “Babul is a contender and I will definitely not like him to win, but the way Mamata has reacted shows she is nervous and Babul a concern for TMC in Asansol,” Chowdhury said.
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“There was a time when Mamata clamoured for free and fair elections. Now she is afraid of it,” he added. As the fifth phase of polls begin Thursday, Chowdhury said they anticipated violence from TMC. “There would be central forces at the booths but at the village- level, TMC has terrorised people and the CM herself has gone on record saying the SPs and DM who the people were afraid of and had been removed by the Election Commission, would be sent back to their respective places after elections,” he said.
Senior TMC leader Partha Chatterjee, however, maintained it was Adhir who was responsible for the railway projects that was halted after announcement. “Mamata Banerjee, during her tenure had initiated a number of projects for the state and after Adhir became the rail minister, he had stalled them,” he said.