West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, at an interactive session with industrialists here on Thursday, sought to project her State as an ideal investment ground. “There is no problem with the law and order situation and the safety of women in West Bengal. I am telling you truthfully that false propaganda and lies are being spread.”
The National Crime Records Bureau, however, had a different take: West Bengal recorded 30,942 cases of crime against women in 2012, the highest in the country that year.
Mostly dodging political questions and those relating to the coming elections, Ms. Banerjee focussed on the Industrial Meet that was held at the World Trade Centre.
Ms. Banerjee said she was in Mumbai to open up the possibility of increasing investment in her State. “Your hope is Bengal, I am here because Mumbai is my hope,” she said. “Bengal has the potential, the talent and cheap labour. Earlier there were bandhs and strikes and there used to be 78 lakh man-days lost. Last year the man-days lost came down to 5,000. This year it is nil,” she said.
Regarding the 2014 elections, Ms. Banerjee merely said, “I am in favour of a federal front but I want to see a stable government. I am a small fry in 2014.” People will decide the country’s future as they did in West Bengal, where 80 per cent people voted us in the panchayat elections held recently.”
Talking about Singur, Ms. Banerjee said she had no regrets. “Whatever I did for Singur, I am proud of it. I can't comment more as the matter is sub-judice. There is no need to worry as the industrial and agricultural sectors will smile together,” she said.