KOLKATA: Calling for greater resolve and united action to resist separatist, communal and fundamentalist forces, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Friday that development work cannot progress unless the country was free from the threat of terrorism.
“The danger posed by terrorism has become a matter of grave concern at the international and national levels,” he said in his Independence Day address.
On the economic front, there was a need for better planning at the national level to check the rising inflation, the declining trend in agricultural production and the hike in the prices of essential commodities that was burdening the common man. The successes in agriculture achieved in West Bengal had to be consolidated. But the State’s plans for industrialisation were encountering some obstacles, he admitted.
“We have repeatedly made known our views that these [obstacles] must be overcome through consensus and discussions with all [concerned],” Mr. Bhattacharjee asserted.
The atmosphere in the State was conducive to investment. Industrialists from both within the country and overseas were coming to invest. “We will have to ensure that the trend is maintained,” the Chief Minister said.
Mr. Bhattacharjee expressed concern over the unrest in the Darjeeling hills. Referring to a decision taken at an all-party meeting where the matter was discussed, he said that the State government was “considering with sympathy the granting of greater economic and administrative powers to the [Darjeeling Gorkha] Hill Council, keeping West Bengal’s present [territorial] status intact.”
There was the occasional ultra Left extremist activity in some parts of the State and this could not be allowed to continue, the Chief Minister said. The problem was being tackled politically and administratively.
The Chief Minister unfurled the national flag outside Writers’ Building.
Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi was present at an all-faith prayer meeting at Gandhighat in Barrackpore.
Security was tight in and around vital installations and public places across the State in view of Independence Day. Vigil along the State’s borders with Nepal and Bangladesh has been intensified over the past few days.