While she spent most of her time at the seminar listing her government’s achievements and calling out business establishments to invest in the state, for a brief period, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee targetted almost every official and minister with her scathing, no-holds-barred scolding.
It was the state police that first landed into the line of Mamata’s ire, or fire.
With no one representing the force at the seminar, the CM stopped midway to tell someone close by to ring up both the Director General and the Commissioner of Police.
“Aajke jokhon shobaikey daka holo, Police keo daka uchit chhilo. DG aar CP key deke nin (When everyone was called today, the police should also have been here. Call the DG and the CP),” Mamata ordered.
CP Surajit Kar Purkayastha was seen rushing into the venue, soon followed by DG G M P Reddy.
Before long, Law Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya walked in but soon drew Mamata’s attention when she began talking over the phone.
“Chandrima, ekhon kotha bolbe na. Shore giye kotha bolo. Giye kotha bolo, urgency toh thhaktei parey. (Chandrima, don’t talk now. Move aside and talk. Go somewhere else and talk. There can always be an urgency),” she said.Bhattacharya soon walked out of the venue.
What followed next was a surprise for many. Mamata, one by one, began calling secretaries of various government departments. First was Principal Secretary (Environment Department) Chandan Sinha. When Sinha started off in Bengali, the CM interrupted him. “Speak in English for the convenience of the diplomats present,” she said.
She also snapped at Krishna Gupta, WBIDC MD, who was elaborating on the new scheme on building plans. “Are you serious about this?” Mamata wanted to know.
When Labour Secretary Amal Roy Chowdhury began discussing “industry-friendly laws and regulation that have been passed in the Cabinet”, he went a touch too far when he suggested that the bill will be passed in the current Assembly session.
“You don’t have to bother about what we will do in the Assembly. You look into your work. Whatever amendments have been there, we will get it done,” snapped the CM.
Chowdhury once again floundered when he said that earlier, business establishments had to remain shut for one-and-a-half days but one could now keep their shops open seven days a week. The CM interrupted to remind him: “It is their matter, not ours. Let them decide.”
When that didn’t stop Chowdhury, who next began elaborating on how to procure a licence online, Mamata had to tersely tell him: “Achcha, Ok, over. Whatever we have done should be monitored strictly.”
While the numbers to Principal Secretary (Urban Development) Debashis Sen were still being dialled, Mamata turned to her audience to ask: “Are you getting irritated? We are doing a little bit of counselling.”