Accusing the Trinamool Congress government of taking the State towards disaster, the former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Sunday that the people could distinguish between black and white and would not allow such a situation to continue for long.

He was addressing the open session of the 10 State conference of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions on its concluding day at Dumurjala in the State’s Howrah district.

“Yes, we had committed some mistakes which is why the people removed us [from power]. But who did they bring in? What is their policy? What have they achieved? The people are judging,” he said.

“Just because it was elected to power the government thinks it can do whatever it wants… It will brook no dissent; none can speak against it. Such a situation cannot last for long,” he cautioned. He charged that the State government had failed to deliver in the industrial and agrarian sectors, and as for the law and order situation, “the less said the better.”

Anti-socials were having a field day on the strength of their conviction that “we will get away with whatever we do as this is our government,” said Mr. Bhattacharjee.He also severely criticised the Manmohan Singh government.

“Though Manmohan Singh maintains that it is not so, the country is in a crisis. It has the largest number of poor in the world, the highest number of unemployed persons and the most number of those who cannot afford two meals a day. This cannot continue… He is aware that his government is not functioning well; it cannot, given its policy framework. Pro-rich policies in our country will not work,” he said.

The policies were no different from those adopted by the Trinamool Congress government in the State, Mr. Bhattacharjee pointed out.

“Workers are under threat and the government here is saying that no other trade union except that of the Trinamool Congress will be allowed to pursue its activities. Can we accept this?” he asked.

Farmers were committing suicide in the rural areas as they were unable to sell their paddy while the few who could were not getting even the minimum support price for their produce. The situation was equally dismal in the industrial sector, he said.

“Singur has turned into a graveyard… Since we relinquished power, the government has not been able to move even a step forward… Industries will not come to the State if industrialists are not provided land. They ask ‘what is the government’s land policy?” Mr. Bhattacharjee said, while charging that a cargo handling company was forced out of the Haldia port recently to serve the interests of a business group linked to the Trinamool Congress.

As for the recent violence in Dubrajpur in Birbhum district, he said the agitating farmers there had not been given a fair price for their land (acquired for a mining project).