THE HINDU, KOLKATA, April 25, 2011
His government will focus on agriculture, land distribution, rural development
A day after the second phase of polling for the Assembly election in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee asserted here on Sunday that the Left Front government will be returned to power for the eighth successive time “with a comfortable majority.”
“We never give out numbers, but I can assure you that we shall achieve a comfortable majority,” Mr. Bhattacharjee told journalists on being asked about the Left's assessment of how many seats they are going to win.
Outlining the priorities of the Left Front, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that his government will focus on agriculture, land distribution, development in rural areas, public distribution system, and providing employment.
“The drive for industrialisation has continued uninterrupted. In 2010, investment worth Rs. 15,000 crore came to the State, crossing all previous records,” he said, adding that contrary to perceptions, the State government was not twiddling its thumbs on industrialisation after the shifting of the Tata Motors small car factory from the controversial site at Singur.
About 8,100 acres had been acquired for industry since the Singur episode, he said, adding that his government had altered its approach to land acquisition by creating a land-use map, trying to generate a consensus on acquisition as far as possible and attempting to leave fertile land untouched.
On being asked about the future of the nuclear energy park at Haripur in Purba Medinipur district, given that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has called for a rethink on nuclear energy projects in the wake of the disaster at Fukushima in Japan, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that a final decision on the matter was yet to be taken.
Mr. Bhattacharjee said that after the incident in Japan the debate on nuclear power had been thrown wide open worldwide. However, he pointed out that the protests organised by certain groups at Haripur were not against the nuclear power plant in particular.
“In Purba Medinipur, movements have been organised against all proposed industrial projects. A ship-building factory was obstructed. Not every such movement is justified,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said.
Asked to respond to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who has again raised doubts about the orders for police firings at Nandigram, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that no such orders had been issued by the government.