Criticises Trinamool government's handling of hooch tragedy, police firing

The Trinamool Congress-led government is taking West Bengal towards a dangerous situation, said the former Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, here on Sunday. The ruling party was as confused as were the policies of the State government. This would spell disaster, if not resisted.

He was speaking at a rally on the occasion of the district conference of the CPI(M) at Krishnangar in Nadia district.

 In a scathing attack on the Mamata Banerjee government's handling of the incident resulting in the police firing at Magrahat in South 24 Parganas district, the devastating fire at the AMRI Hospitals, Dhakuria, and the hooch tragedy at Sangrampur, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that each day there was a new law and order problem.

 Referring to the liquor tragedy, he said: “It is only because of the lack of proper treatment that so many people died. Had there been timely treatment many lives could have been saved … There were neither the required number of doctors nor medicines and the administration had even failed to arrange for ambulances to bring the sick to the hospital.”

 He was also critical of the State government in its handling the situation in the Darjeeling hills and in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal region. He alleged that the government had further complicated matters in Darjeeling, where it had given leeway to divisive forces and precipitated the situation where unrest could erupt anytime now. The Trinamool government had failed to set its priorities right in Jangalmahal, where it was taking on the CPI(M) instead of Maoists.

 Happenings in CPI(M)

But Mr. Bhattacharjee, a member of the CPI(M) Polit Bureau, was also unsparing about the goings-on in certain sections within his own party.

 “There have been some incidents of high-handedness within the party for which we have been punished by the people,” he said referring to the defeat of the Left Front in the April-May Assembly elections.

 “The wrong-doings will have to be eliminated and the party will have to resume its position as the one which the people want,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said, adding there was no recourse but moving forward.

 He came down strongly on the Union government for its economic policies which had resulted in spiralling prices of essential commodities.

 If the Centre continued to de-control the price of petrol, not provide subsidies to bring down the prices of essential items and merely go by the diktats of the World Bank, “only those with money will survive, those without will not.” Claiming that the ground beneath the Manmohan Singh government was shaky, he ridiculed the Trinamool for its superficial opposition to matters like the rise in fuel prices though it continued to be part of the same government.