Mamata stays away from PM’s project inauguration event in Haldia

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated a number of projects relating to the Ministry of Petroleum at Haldia in the State’s Purba Medinipur district, which included an LPG import terminal, and the 348 km-long Dobhi-Durgapur natural gas pipeline.

Even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave the government event a miss, her party MP Dibyendu Adhikari was present. Mr. Adhikari, Lok Sabha MP from Tamluk in the district, is the brother of Suvendu Adhikari, who recently defected from Trinamool Congress and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The development triggered speculation over whether Mr. Dibyendu Adhikari was defecting to the BJP, too.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Modi said that a gas-based economy was the need of the hour and the Centre was working to develop West Bengal as a major trading and industrial centre. “The 348-km Dobhi-Durgapur pipeline will directly benefit not only West Bengal but also 10 districts of Bihar and Jharkhand. The construction work provided 11 lakh man-days’ employment to locals. This will also provide clean piped LPG to kitchens, and enable clean CNG vehicles. Sindri and Durgapur fertilizer factories will get continuous gas supply,” the PM said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the Ujjawala Scheme had resulted in much higher coverage and demand for LPG in the region. “In the last six years, LPG coverage in West Bengal jumped from 41% to 99%. Ninety lakh free LPG connections were given to women in West Bengal, which includes more than 36 lakh women belonging to the SC/ST category,” he said.

Emphasising steps that have been taken to modernise Kolkata’s Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust (earlier the Kolkata Port Trust), Mr. Modi called for the strengthening of the Haldia Dock Complex’s capacity, and its connectivity with neighbouring countries. He also laid the foundation stone of the second catalytic-isodewaxing unit of Haldia Refinery, and dedicated to the nation the 4-lane ROB (road over bridge)-cum-flyover at Ranichak, Haldia, on National Highway 41.

The Trinamool Congress leadership accused the BJP government of politicising the government event as the speech of the Prime Minister at a political rally held before the event was telecast during it on a giant projector.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said the party would not respond to the allegations made by the Prime Minister at the BJP rally at Haldia on Sunday because of the natural disaster in Uttarakhand that had claimed many lives. The TMC would respond to the allegations on Monday, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 7:05:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/mamata-stays-away-from-pms-project-inauguration-event-in-haldia/article33773101.ece

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