KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the crucial panchayat polls might be scheduled within the next three months and asked party workers to ensure completion of pending works by this period. A tough fight is expected between BJP and TMC in the rural elections.
Speaking at a Trinamool Congress core-committee meeting at Alipore here on Wednesday, the party supremo said that 8,000 km rural roads need to be completed at the earliest. “We have completed 23,000 km roads and constructed 5 lakh houses. Over 25 lakh houses have been constructed within the last six years and 3 lakh people have been awarded land pattas,” she said.
She also asked her party-workers to launch a social media campaign to highlight the works done by the state government but warned them against posting offensive posts or comments. Speaking just before the unveiling of the 2018 state budget on Tuesday, she said that her party does not make ‘vote budgets’ but ‘development budgets’.
“My heart pounded during cabinet meetings when we were part of UPA and NDA coalition fearing they might take anti-people policies. Now, you need not fear as we would never take anti-people policies. This is our promise and commitment. Ma, Mati Manush is not just a slogan and we have to work very hard to make implement our promises,” she added.
Speaking on the Murshidabad bus tragedy where 42 people died when a bus fell into Bhairab river, the CM hit out at the locals of Daulatabad who stone-pelted on police and set police vehicles on fire alleging lax rescue operations. “They did not let police and fire tenders to enter the area for two hours. This is unforgivable. More lives could have been saved had the administration been allowed to enter on time.”
The irate locals were booked under several sections for preventing the administration to carry out their work.
‘Media was party to scams’
The TMC supremo alleged the media was responsible for aggravating the crisis of Saradha and Rose Valley chit-fund scams, the two scams that rocked the first five years of her rule.
“A section of media gave jacket front page ads to Rose Valley and Saradha scams. People were attracted towards investing in these firms because of these ads. They are responsible for aggravating the situation,” she said. She also alleged that a section of media was working to benefit opposition parties. “You have every right to criticise me but don’t go around criticising all our work. You should criticise all parties equally and not go around bashing only TMC," she added.