In Bengal, Debate Rages Over 9 Years Of BJP Vs 12 Years Of TMC


(MENAFN- IANS) Kolkata, May 28 (IANS) As the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government is slated to celebrate its ninth year anniversary soon, the Trinamool congress leadership wants the Centre to come out with a "report card" on its achievements during the last nine years.
Once the Union government comes out with it, the state government plans to release a counter "report card" highlighting the achievements and development activities of the 12 years of the Trinamool Congress Regime since it came to power in 2011 ending the 34-year-old Left Front rule.
The tone for this comparative narrative was set by the Trinamool Congress's national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee at a recent public rally at Islampur in North Dinajpur district of West Bengal. This was a part of his two-month mass outreach programme in view of the polls for the three-tier panchayat elections.
"The BJP has been in power at the Centre for the last nine years. Please come out with a report card on your performance during the last nine years. After that, West Bengal will come out with a report card on its performance during the last 12 years. Let both come to the public with our respective report cards. People will understand the difference. On the one hand there have been so many developmental activities in West Bengal and on the other hand what the BJP has done is to burden the common people with their anti-people policies," Banerjee said.
He also attacked the Union government over its recent decision to gradually phase out Rs 2,000 denomination notes. "During the last nine years two demonetization drives were the net gift of the Union government. So now it is time for the people to decide whether they will stand in the queue for changing notes or will line up to change the Prime Minister of the country," he stated.
After Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress leadership too started pitching the welfare projects of the state government like Kamya Shree (scholarship scheme for girl students), Lakshmir Bhandar (monthly dole scheme for all women till the age of 60) and Swastha Sathi (free health insurance scheme). These were pitted against certain decisions of the Union government during the last nine years like demonetization and disinvestment of the government stake in many central public sector undertakings and merger of banks.
However, the state BJP leadership has ridiculed his proposal for a "report card" and "counter report card". According to the BJP's state spokesman Samik Bhattacharya, a report card on the performance of the Trinamool Congress regime in West Bengal in the last 12 years will also have to detail so many instances of corruption that have surfaced in the state during that period.
"From cattle scam to coal scam, from school recruitment irregularities to municipalities recruitment scandal, there was all round corruption during that period. Should all these too not be counted? Should not the pathetic scene of eligible candidates protesting on the streets deprived of their legitimate jobs be also highlighted? Can the series of explosions in the state killing so many people be ignored? Won't questions be raised about the huge accumulated debt of the state government?" he questioned.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the Congress and the Left Front, who have an understanding in West Bengal, described both the Trinamool Congress and the BJP as two sides of the same coin. "Be it the nine years of the BJP regime or the 12 years of the Trinamool Congress regime here, both are slippery because of the tears of the common people," state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury feels.
Veteran CPI(M) leader Tanmay Bhattacharya feels that both the BJP and the Trinamool Congress follow the same path of choking the democratic space and freedom of expression as was evident by the ban on the BBC's documentary on the Gujarat riots imposed by the Union government and simultaneous attempts to ban the screening of "The Kerala Files" in West Bengal.
--IANS
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