Returning to Nandigram which catapulated her to power in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, prior to May’s panchayat polls, on Tuesday announced a raft of development proposals, including an industrial cluster.
“An industrial cluster will be set up at Nayachar on 4500 acre to provide direct employment to 10,000 people and a tourism cluster of international standard on 268 acre which will boost the economy of the area,” Ms. Banerjee told a rally at Khejuri here in East Midnapore district.
Ms. Banerjee said that bringing the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to power in the panchayats, at present mostly controlled by the Left, would help boost development.
Reiterating that her government would not acquire land forcibly Ms. Banerjee, said “Consent will be also be sought for land required for setting up railway lines or for irrigation.”
Referring to the turbulent times of the 2006-7 when she had spearheaded the Nandigram movement when 14 people were killed in police firing, she said “I can forget my name, but not Nandigram ... Now there is complete peace and development taking place in Nandigram.”
Ms. Banerjee said she had sought immediate intervention by the Centre after the March 14 police firing, “But they (Centre) were afraid of them (CPI-M) which was providing outside support to then UPA government and did not take action.”
Claiming that the CPI(M) and Congress were now friends and were engaged in ‘torture and goondaism’, she said “Should I have to take lessons from the CPI(M) and the Congress?”
Commenting on Congress workers recently vandalising the Murshidabad district magistrate’s office in the presence of Union Minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, she said “Hooliganism before the DM’s office is against democracy. Hooliganism has no place in democracy.”
Countering CPI(M)’s criticism for her government’s alleged failure on the industrial front, she said, “They were in power for 34 years, but they did not do anything. They had no other work than resorting to firing and capturing.”
She also recalled that the previous government had taken huge loans for which huge interest was being paid by her government. “Why should we pay interest for loans taken by the CPI(M) (government)?
The Chief Minister also said, “Some media houses are acting in a motivated way to malign us.”