Friday, September 9, 2011

100 Days of TMC-led Government: A False Start

KOLKATA: WHAT are the high points of the first 100 days of the TMC-Congress government in West Bengal?

Organised terror against the opposition, which has claimed lives of 33 Left Front activists, injured hundreds; 684 women were assaulted physically, 508 molested and 23 raped; nearly 40,000 had to leave their homes under threat. An unprecedented extortion campaign is going on in villages.

Campaign of political vendetta, using state police forces for that purpose. More than 1500 false cases have been registered against the CPI(M) leaders and activists. CPI(M) leaders, including MLA and former minister Sushanto Ghosh, have been put in prison. CPI(M) state committee members have been targeted too.

Land grabbing and comprehensive attack on panchayats.

A unique budget without budgeting, without finalisation of sources of revenue and expenditure.

Refusal to discuss budgets of important ministries, including home, in the assembly. The chief minister herself is in-charge of these ministries.

Reversal of decisions, hastily announced by the chief minister and other ministers. One of the more important one is retarding on the re-establishment of the legislative council in the state.

Lots of nominated committees with the TMC and pro-TMC people, presiding over the jeopardising of normal governmental functions.

May 20, 2011

Mamata Banerjee sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state at 1.01 pm on 20.05.2011 (not at 1 pm!). It was propagated earlier by Mamata that their cabinet would be smaller in size. But the reality was absolutely different. The cabinet was as big as it can be. Even Anandabazar Patrika's editorial dated 21.05.2011 expressed discontented note on that.

The Chief Secretary called the name of Kashinath Mishra, TMC MLA from Bankura, when he was calling the names of the ministers for taking oath. Mishra didn't move. Some media carried the news that Mishra has been dropped from the probable list. But the official list was not corrected. First instance of maintaining liaison.

Chief Minister's Office Decorated at Her Own Cost?

It was propagated that Mamata Banerjee has paid Rs. 2 lac for the decoration of her office at Writers' Building. But according to the Public Works Department only the electrical renovation of CM's office cost Rs. 13 lacs 95 thousand. It is clear that Rs.2 lac is too insufficient for the cause but enough to get the media hype.

Treasury is Empty. But…

It was a constant campaign of TMC that the treasury of the state has become empty during Left Front's tenure. Let's look into some developments:

a) CM announced on 24 May that the teachers will get their salary on 1st day of each month. How could she manage the money?

b) Cabinet took decision on 8 June that they would recruit 46000 teachers. How their salary can be managed?

c) The Higher Education Minister announced on 21 June that 300 new colleges and 5 new Universities will be formed in the next five years. Did he mean that the financial infrastructure of the state is strong enough to carry on the associated financial liability?

d) The new Government is taking initiation for creating Bidhan Parisad, which would involve extra expenditure of Rs. 100 crores. How can this fund be managed?

e) A project of Rs. 10 crores on beautification of the city has been taken. Then the treasury is certainly not empty.

Whatever they have campaigned all are blatant lie.

EMPLOYMENT

The document, celebrating 90 days, published by the new government has proclaimed that it has already provided jobs for 2,79,286 people in its first months. The break up shows that out of those jobs 2 lakh jobs have been given in the private sector and the 79,286 have been provided in the government offices. The government did not bother to disclose the names of the private sector where the jobs have been given and the government sector break up reveals that most of the posts have been proposed and created. So, as yet the government has not provided any jobs.

URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Most of the works cited in the book released by the TMC-led government are the repetition of the projects and works undertaken by the government of West Bengal during the tenure of the Left Front.

The modernisation of the Coochbihar Airport and the commencement of Kolkata-Coochbihar flight - in reality, the whole infrastructural work, was done during the time of the Left Front government and the project was waiting for its official inauguration.

The draft policy for the street vendors was also introduced during the time of the Left Front government, although it is falsely cited as a success of the new government.

A project of Rs 500 crore for job generation and a project of Rs 800 crore for building urban houses, has been falsely claimed by the TMC government as its success. They were also the projects taken up by the Left Front government.

Educational Sector is Under Attack

This small period can be related with the semi-fascist terror in West Bengal during 1970's. The Governor, with his capacity of Chancellor, wrote a letter (dated June 15) to all the Universities not to take any policy decision and not to do anything beyond routine work. The direction of the Governor was in anticipation of policy change by the newly constituted committee in the education sector. It has made all the process stalemate. Several-elected Students' Union were attacked. Many SFI supporters were prevented from collecting admit cards of University examination. A Professor was heckled by the TMC goons in Burdwan University for citing Karl Marx in a lecture.

Gorkhaland instead of 'Switzerland'

Left Front Government controlled the demand of separate state by extending autonomy. With the creation of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) Left Front Government solved the movement for separate state 'Gorkhaland'. It was an instance for entire country to solve separatist demand. But the new Government legitimized the demand of separate state raised by their supporter Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) by signing the agreement on Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). The pact was signed on 18 July between the State Government and GJM. The agreement was not even discussed in the assembly. Many maujas of Tarai and Doors were included under GTA. Bimal Gurung, the GJM chief, therefore said afterwards that this pact is the first step towards 'Gorkhaland'. In the election manifesto Mamata said in her own populist tone that why North Bengal cannot be Switzerland? But after becoming the Chief Minister she could only ensure the 'Gorkhaland'.

Reversal of Land Reform

The class interest of TMC has become unmasked. The rank and file of TMC is taking stance for the interest of landowners. Only in this short period 508 peasants were evicted from 830 acres of land; 4707 legal patta-holders (vested land given to landless) were evicted from 1529 acres of land and 3511 bargadars or sharecroppers were evicted from 1522 acres of land. 124 incidents of looting the crops from total 1486 acres of land happened in this period. In total 68 incidents 165 acres of land were destroyed to teach CPI(M) supporters a lesson.

In Haroa of North 24-Parganas, landlords with the help of TMC land-grabbers were trying to drive away poor farmers from their land and prevent them from cultivation have organized attacks. The police and the administration were offering full support to the attackers. On July 9, when evicted peasants assembled at a place called Gazitala in Haroa to reestablish their right to cultivate in their own land to resist forcible eviction, TMC land-grabbers armed with deadly weapons attacked them from different direction. Even the police opened fire on the assemblage of those poor cultivators without any provocation. Four persons, all tribal, were injured in this joint attack of TMC and police. 12 rounds of firing by the police marked barbaric act of terrorism. The joint attack of TMC and police also took place in Dwipkhanda village of South Dinajpur where they opened fire on an assemblage of peasants, patta-holders and sharecroppers.

The peasants of the state are now resisting the attack and holding the red flag tight.

Joyous Recall of Their 'Martyrs' by TMC

On 21 July of 1992, Mamata Banerjee went to capture the Writers' Building forcibly. Left no way out police opened fire and 13 persons of that rally died. It was a matter of grief but an outcome of irresponsible and undisciplined political movement. TMC claimed these people as their martyrs and used to observe the day every year. But this year the observation turned into celebration. The film star public representatives of TMC presented show of entertainment in memory of those martyrs. The other film personalities even danced with their popular film songs. The joyous event left one clear message that using dead bodies for narrow and dirty political purpose is no more required in this changed context.

Media are also Under Threat

Even the fundamental right is under threat. You have to be faithful to Mamata Banerjee even you are a journalist in the Mamataland.

The Chief Minister shouted at the reporters of 24 Ghanta television channel on 30th June at Writers' Building when they asked her about the causes of child death in Government Hospital. A pro-TMC Bengali newspaper 'Bartaman' also expressed their concern on this autocratic attitude in a report dated 1 July. They wrote, today the CM has shown red eye to the journalists of one house. If there is no protest same will be the situation of the reporters of the other houses. For writing such thing 'Bartaman' was cautioned by TMC. In two successive issues (8 July & 15 July) of 'Jago Bangla', their organ, this opinion of the said vernacular daily was criticized openly.

The Associate Editor of 'Sambad Protidin' was present in the dais of the party program of TMC on 21 July. The Editor of the same newspaper got place in the Rajya Sabha for extending political support to TMC.

When the reporters asked Bimal Gurung about their stand on Gorkhaland', the CM stopped the reports from asking such questions. The incident happened on 30 May at Writers' Building.

Voice of Autocracy

The voice of the opposition was gagged for two years during emergency but the CM of West Bengal said on 21 July that the opposition should not speak for next ten years.

The Governor uttered 'maa-mati-manush', the slogan of TMC, in his address in the Assembly on 13 June. Even the Governor had to synchronize his voice with the political slogan of TMC. Just after a few days Left Front observed the 35-year completion of emergency. How well the present and the flash back converge!

The CM visited Bangur Institute of Neurology in Kolkata on 26 May. The program was not known to the Director of the Institute but her pet media were well aware of the schedule. CM entered into the wards with the media personnel.

The Director expressed his concern that it can invite infection to the patients. CM was furious and asked the Director to meet her at the Writers' Building. The Director expressed his prefixed schedule of many surgery cases. A notice of suspension was served to the Director on that very day without any show cause notice.

Kolkata will be London!

Please don't laugh. Just look at the first step of this process initiated by Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Introspection towards the budget of KMC would reveal that the allocations in all priority sectors have decreased in this financial year. In 2010-11 Rs. 276 crores was allocated in road maintenance whereas the budget allocation of 2011-12 in the same sector read Rs. 180 crores. In 2010-11 Rs. 129 crores was allocated in slum development whereas the budget allocation of 2011-12 in the same sector read Rs. 84 crores. In 2010-11 Rs. 114 crores was allocated in health sector whereas the budget allocation of 2011-12 in the same sector read Rs. 95 crores. The allocations on disaster management and conservation of parks & water bodies have also reduced to Rs 2 crores and Rs 4 crores respectively. Only illumination on parks and roads got higher allocation in this year. From previous year's Rs. 150 crores it raised to Rs. 240 crores. One can easily understand the policy of exterior decoration and curbing the fundamental needs. This is the first chapter of Kolkata's transformation into London!

'Spit' Ranjan in The Court of North Bengal University

Ranjan Silsharma was nominated to the Court of North Bengal University. Who is the person and what was the reason of upsurge after his nomination? This person was involved in spitting to the District Education Inspector when he was leading a demonstration of TMC. TMC expelled him but he rejoined the party after winning the Siliguri Municipal Election as an independent candidate. The same person is now the Deputy Mayor of Siliguri Municipality. One can easily understand how cosmetic the expulsion was. This person with such background was nominated to the Court, the highest decision making body of the North Bengal University by the new Government. The reaction was very bad from all the corners. Ranjan was forced to resign. But his selection was an ominous indication and his promotion as the Deputy Mayor of Siliguri Municipality in further substantiates that.

Purchasing Laptops Without Tender

The State Government felicitated 62 top students who passed Madhyamik and Higher Secondary in the month of June. All of them were presented a laptop made by one local company, which supported TMC in different issues. The Government did not invite any tender for purchasing laptops. This resulted criticism from concerned corners. The unofficial organ of TMC 'Sambad Protidin' wrote that the laptops were gifted by the concerned company. But 'Anandabazar Patrika' wrote that those laptops were bought by the CM and it was her personal gift. The two media houses eager to guard this illegal transaction could have discussed between themselves! One should also not forget that the successful students of Madrasahs were not felicitated by the Government, which was a departure from the activities of the Left Front Government.

Mamata's 'Daharbabu'

She was not CM then. Mamata said in an interview with Star Ananda television channel that Rabindranath Tagore offered fruit juice to Mahatma Gandhi when he broke fast in Beleghata, Kolkata. Shocking it was! Actually Rabindranath died six years before Gandhiji's fast at Beleghata. So what? When Mamata speaks press can't question. Now what she did after becoming the CM? She was addressing a Government program to observe Hul Revolution of 1855 and to commemorate the death of legendary tribal leaders Sidhu and Kanhu in the said Revolution. The program was organized at Sidhu Kanu Dahar at Esplanade, Kolkata. Dahar means street and the Left Front Government named the adjacent road of Curzon Park by the name of Sidhu Murmu and Kanhu Murmu. Mamata mistook "Dahar" to be the name of a third tribal leader. She kept on saying "Dahar babu" (Mr. Dahar) without realising her mistake even once. As the programme went on, "Dahar babu" kept cropping up now and then.

Issue of Appointment Letter Stopped in Education Sector

Sishu and Madhyamik Sikshakendras are the centers, which impart education up to class VIII standard, and generally the under-privileged children come in these centers. The TMC Government stopped issuing appointment letters to the teachers of those centers on 28 July. The 7th Left Front Government took initiation to acknowledge the service of those teachers by increasing their salary. The extension of the scheme was to make them permanent. Issuing appointment letters were also initiated in the tenure of the 7th Left Front Government. Now said order of the TMC Government has put the future of 68000 teachers of these centers before a question mark. Near about 19 lacs students are connected with these centers. Their future too is under a threat.

Soumitra Chatterjee's Play Stopped!

The legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, aged 76 years, still is tireless in stage. The Left Front Government launched Repertory at Minerva Theater and sanctioned the play King Lear. Soumitra performed the lead role in the play. Its first performance was held in November 2010. After that all shows of the play was house full. But the TMC Government dissolved all repertory committees and stalled all shows. The play has not been staged, as the theatre group is not being given bookings either in Minerva or in Rabindra Sadan, the two auditoria where the play was being staged before. The obvious question is being raised that even Soumitra Chatterjee is being subjected to political vendetta?

West Bengal to Follow The Ruinous Path of Rail?

Mamata Banerjee, in her tenure as Railway Minister, only promoted populism and gimmick. Even the Minister of State for Railway Bharat Singh Solanki told in question-answer session in Rajya Sabha on 13 August that they need 1 lac 25 thousand crores of rupees to complete the projects of setting up new tracks, change of gauge and double lining. But the department's financial condition was not congenial to finish these projects. In 2008-09, total excess fund with the Railways was Rs. 4457 crore, which decreased to less than 1 crore in 2009-10. Safety and security of the passengers were also under serious question.

On 5 August, CAG reports on railway was published and discussed in Parliament. The report showed that on one hand the income of the department decreased and on the other hand the expenditure increased heavily. Railway Development Fund is almost empty. The report further said that during 2007-08 total excess fund with the Railways was Rs. 13431 crore, in 2008-09 it came down to Rs. 4457 crore and in 2009-10 it read as Rs. 75 Lac. Reserve Fund and Depreciation Reserve Fund also has been hugely reduced. Maintenance of tracks, buying of new engine, coach and wagons are therefore being affected.

The said scenario has happened only due to ignoring fundamental aspects of Railway and using the service solely for electoral dividend. Should our State follow the same ruinous path?

'Dalatantra', The Party Rule

The word 'Dalatantra' (party rule) was used to defame Left Front especially CPI(M). It was created by media as a part of hate campaign against CPI(M). But the boasting of party rule is now becoming prevalent in every step the TMC led Government is initiating. Every committee constituted in this brief period unquestionably speaks of 'Dalatantra'. Same sort of committees Mamata formed in her tenure as Railway Minister and placed her pet intellectuals in those committees. Now we can see the Bengal model of that misdeed. The Government nominees in Governing Bodies of Government Aided Colleges were asked to step down before their term is over. It was initiated to provide berth for the TMC minded intellectuals. The elected Chairmen of District Primary Education Councils were advised (?) by the School Education Minister to resign. The incident happened on 3rd June. The chairmen of West Bengal Council for Primary Education, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education and School Service Commission were replaced by known pro-TMC faces before their term are over.

Bank had to issue Notification against TMC Leader

The Sabhadhipati of South 24 Parganas Zilla Parisad Samima Bibi and her husband Rahman Ali Sheikh were accused of not repaying the loan taken from Vijaya Bank. Even the bank authority had to issue a notification with the photograph of them stating that they are going to start legal action against them as the couple had outstanding of 15 lacs 80 Thousand 809 rupees. The notification was also issued for public interest. Rahman Ali Sheikh took the loan and Samima Bibi was his guaranteer. Mamata claimed South 24 Parganas Zilla Parisad as the best one in the state. The performance of the Sabhadhipati very well speaks of the standard…

'Unwilling Farmers Demand Only 40 Acres in Singur!

The Singur problem has not removed but has become much complicated when the new Government had decided to return the lands to the 'unwilling farmers' by the force of the special legislation. The Government stipulated one month time for the 'unwilling farmers' to apply for returning their land. After end of that period on 22 July only 310 'unwilling farmers' claimed as minimum as 40 acres of land. It is becoming amply clear that the demand of TMC to return 400 acres of land was a sinister political motive.

Result of Higher Secondary Examination Leaked

The result of Higher Secondary Examination was leaked in Star Ananda television channel well before the official press conference. The incident happened on 4th June. Chief Minister not only defended the incident but openly said in the Writer's Building that she would compensate the loss of other channels by giving some scoops. This unethical and illegal thing was only designed to favor the channel that has almost become spokesperson of TMC.

JANGAL MAHAL

The chief minister had earlier declared that there will be 23 new ration shops in jangal mahal area to ensure food distribution. Unfortunately, not a single one has been established in West Midnapore district, where 11 of 23 blocks of jangal mahal are situated.

The government has a proposal for the creation of 10,000 Special Police Officers to tackle the 'Maoist' situation in jangal mahal like the Chhattisgarh government. In this context the government has completely dumped the Supreme Court’s order against the creation of SPOs to tackle the 'Maoist' problems.

Meanwhile, the 'Maoists' have started to regroup.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

The performance of TMC-led government in the specific sectors like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is not only poor but also much lower than the performance made during the tenure of the Left Front government. The contrast with the tenure of the Left Front government can be easily seen. The government has claimed that a total number of 1 crore 59 lakh working days have been created whereas the same was 15 crore at the time of the Left Front government.

Abundant of Country Loquor Factories

The source is a report published in Bartaman, a hardcore anti Left newspaper. It said that the State Government has issued license for 12 new country liquor factories. 20 such factories are in the waiting line. The State had 15 country liquor factories before this initiative. Getting the application form @Rs. 25000 and deposition of license fee of Rs. 5 Lacs is the requisition. The intention of the new Government is pretty clear…

Even Congress is Under Trouble

Krishnendu Choudhuri, Congress MLA of Englishbazar was assaulted by some TMC hooligans. The speakers in a rally of INTUC in Kolkata on 23 June said that the working class of the state is under attack since the new Government has taken charge. Sanjib Reddy, the All India President of INTUC wrote a letter to the new CM Mamata Banerjee to take steps against the attack on the working class of the state. Pradip Bhattacharya, the President of Congress State Committee, also wrote letter to the CM requesting her to take action against the increasing incidents of Congress workers being harassed by TMC-backed musclemen. Such poor is the condition of Congress who is an ally of this new Government.

MLA, Ex-Ministers are Under Attack

On 21 May, the TMC hoodlums ransacked the house of Basudeb Mete who is the Left Front MLA of Ausgram. Gauranga Chatterjee, CPI(M) MLA of Pandebaswar was beaten by Police and TMC goons when he was leading a procession against forcibly land acquisition for extension of coal mine on 21 June. On 22 July Abdus Sattar, the former Minister, was assaulted by the TMC hoodlums when he went to Amdanga to stand beside the invaded CPI(M) workers. Subhra Parui, the CPI(M) candidate in Khanakul, was assaulted and molested by the TMC goons.

'Silent Terror'

'Silent Terror' is being organized in many panchayats. TMC goons are threatening Left Front panchayat members. In some places they have forced the sabhadhipati of some Zilla Parisads. In some incidents after moving no confidence motion they are not allowing the elected Left Front panchayat members to attend the meeting. By this way they are capturing some panchayats. In some incidents they are threatening Left Front panchayat members to sign any paper on their demand and ultimately connecting them in false cases.

Political Vendetta Against Susanta Ghosh

Former Minister, present MLA and CPI(M) leader Susanta Ghosh is facing an incident of political vendetta by Mamata Banerjee Government. The police have acted on a nine-year-old case against Susanta Ghosh. Shyamal Archarya, the complainant in the case, also has a case registered against him. About a year-and-a-half ago a huge cache of arms was recovered from his residence. His photographs in combatant uniforms were also recovered. CID could not produce any substantial evidence against him. Susanta Ghosh even had to be hospitalized after constant interrogation by CID for 30 long hours. Now CID is also filing other cases against Susanta Ghosh. The direction of CID's action is unprecedentedly controlled by the Writers' Building.

Tortured People are Forced to Suicide

Sadhan Samadder of Burdwan, Brishaketu Khamari of East Medinipur, Gagan Digar of West Medinipur, Tapan Deb of Siliguri, Sarit Josh of Burdwan, Abdul Matin of West Medinipur and Sital Maity of West Medinipur had to commit suicide after being terribly assaulted by the TMC hoodlums. Many of them had directly mentioned the names of TMC goons as responsible in their suicide notes. Police is not taking any initiative to arrest the culprits.

Rampant extortions of TMC Goons

The trend is becoming open secret especially in rural Bengal. The TMC goons are imposing hefty fines on the workers and supporters of Left Front. The common people are also facing the problem in many areas. 1911 people of 12 districts have been fined. The amount is huge - 11 Crores 45 Lacs 50 Thousand rupees. The minimum amount was Rs. 1000 per head and the maximum amount was Rs. 33 Lacs on a single person. He was allowed to pay in easy installments.

Heinous Conspiracy of Arms Seizure

The newly elected Government is using the administration to conspire against CPI(M) in the name of 'seizure of illegal arms'. This is being carried out to give legitimacy to those heinous attacks. TMC has taken recourse to a campaign of 'arms search' in CPI(M) offices. A section of media are also playing dangerous part in this hate campaign. TMC gangs are attacking or cordoning Party offices and houses of Party leaders by raising false allegations of 'storing of arms'. In most cases, they themselves are taking responsibility of such a 'search'. In some cases, when the police reached the place, ransacking had already been completed. The nature of recovery itself clearly indicates that the weapons are being dumped in ponds and paddy fields by TMC activists in the vicinity of houses of CPI(M) leaders and party offices in the night and they themselves call the police and identify those spots.

Flood and Inaction of Government

40 people died due to flood in West Bengal. But the Government was not ready even to declare that as flood. Previously when the Left Front Government asked central assistance to combat flood situation, the then opposition supremo Mamata Banerjee called that 'man made flood'. Now in power, she is not ready to acknowledge the fundamental problem of the common people.

The Reign of Terror

32 Left Front activists, leaders and supporters were killed

12 women were raped

7 women were molested

157 women were severely injured due to attack

1622 Left Front activists, leaders and supporters were hospitalized

1681 Left Front activists, leaders and supporters' house were ransacked

750 offices of CPI(M) in all over the State were forcibly captured

84 offices of different Left mass organizations and trade unions were ransacked and captured

In 69 colleges of the State elected Students' Union were forcibly captured by the TMC goons from SFI

17 boards of 'Ganashakti', the organ of CPI(M) West Bengal State Committee, were either captured or demolished

293 Left Front activists, leaders and supporters were arrested in false and fabricated cases

11 Crores 45 Lacs 50 Thousand rupees was collected as 'fine' imposed by TMC hoodlums from 1911 people of 12 districts.

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