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Bengal going backwards in agriculture, industry: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee

Press Trust of India
Jan 08, 2012 at 08:30pm IST

Harinavi: Former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Sunday accused the Mamata Banerjee government of impairing development in the state, saying it failed to woo new businesses and ensure minimum support price for paddy.

"The government has taken the state backward in both industry and agriculture. It has not taken a single step towards industrialisation compared to what was done by us. No new industry has come up under the new regime," said the CPI(M) leader, addressing a part rally.

He claimed that industries like JSW steel, Wipro, Infosys and Cognizant had set foot in the state during the Left Front rule, but now "investors are realising that this government will not do anything to bring new industry".

'Bengal going backwards in agriculture, industry'

Bengal government failed to woo new businesses and ensure minimum support price for paddy, former West Bengal chief minister said.

Bhattacharjee said that although there had been a good harvest of 'aman' paddy this season, the cultivators could not sell the produce because neither the government nor the cooperatives were buying the crops.

"I recently went to Burdwan. There, the paddy growers are running from pillar to post trying to sell their harvest. Even if they can, they are getting Rs 600 to 700 per quintal, instead of the MSP of Rs 1,100," Bhattacharjee said.

He said farmers are also reluctant to go for potato and boro cultivation for fear that they would not be able to sell their produce.

Although the erstwhile Left Front government had taken steps to buy jute at Rs 4,000 per quintal, the price now stands at Rs 2,000.

"Why is this? No one seems to know and no one is doing anything. Ministers are giving differing statements. This has never happened when we were in the government," Bhattacharjee said.

On the recent incidents of violence in some colleges in the state, Bhattacharjee alleged that law and order is "on the brink of a breakdown" under the present government.

The CPI-M leader also found fault with the signing of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) agreement in Darjeeling, initiated by the Mamata Banerjee government, saying it would only boost the demand for Gorkhaland and not bring development of any sort.

"There is no reason to think that agitators would abandon the demand for Gorkhaland with the signing of the (GTA) agreement. It will only foment the demand. Darjeeling is sitting on a powder keg. It will erupt any day," he said.

About the situation in Jangalmahal, he alleged CPI(M) leaders and activists were being arrested there on false charges and attacked.

"Let the government decide who it is fighting against, the Marxists or the Maoists," he said.

The Centre was not spared of Bhattacharjee's diatribe either, with the leader stating that the ruling Congress was "losing its footing" with increasing corruption issues.

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