Purnendu Basu, who is known as the man-of-steel in politics, is confident of his win based on a volley of changes that have taken place in Rajarhat- Gopalpur area in the past four-and-a- half years in terms of development. During this period Bose was in charge of two important departments where he was successful in giving new directions. The Trinamool Congress candidate from Rajarhat-Gopalpur Assembly constituency knows the tasks that need to be done for further development of the area like the back of his right hand palm. He shares his experience of the past five years as a n MLA and a minister besides his future plans with Pritesh Basu.
What are the factors that will ensure your win from Rajarhat-Gopalpur Assembly constituency?
A: See we have worked for the people in the past four-and-a-half years. Various projects for an overall development of the area were undertaken. Most are complete. Some are on the verge of completion. Thus nothing apart from development is the factor on which we are relying for our win. More importantly people have witnessed the development and are supporting us.
What are the development projects that you would like to highlight?
A: I have utilised the entire fund of the MLA-LAD for the benefit of people including installation of water purifiers in schools, infrastructure development of primary schools and setting up of high-mast lights at 42 different locations. Completion of the VIP Road Flyover, widening of Rajarhat Road, dredging of canals, three bridges across the canals for easy connectivity, six sub-ways between Kestopur to Kaikhali to safely cross the VIP Road, service roads along the VIP Road and underground sewerage system at many places are some of the development projects that have been undertaken in the past four and a half years with the support of various departments including PWD and irrigation.
What is the uniqueness of MLA Purnendu Bose’s style of functioning?
A: I introduced a unique method of engaging private companies here for the development of the area besides implementing the government projects. I had requested the representatives of the companies to contribute from their Corporate Social Responsibility to set up passenger shelters. A private company developing a big project at Chinar Park has solved the problem of water logging in the area by developing underground sewerage system at a cost of Rs 95 lakh from their CSR fund.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement being the state’s Labour Minister in the first three and a half years of the Trinamool Congress government?
A: Being the Labour Minister for the first three years of the government, my biggest achievement was to revise the minimum daily wage of the labourers starting from unskilled to the skilled ones after 34 years. Following various studies, an increase of daily wage by 34 per cent that ensures 2700 calorie food basket of a worker and his family members was ensured.
What you consider to be your biggest achievement as the state’s Agriculture Minister in the past one and a half year?
A: See, farmers get various facilities from both the Centre and the state governments. But till date they used to remain unaware of the benefits which are their constitutional rights. In the past one and a half year, after I took over the charge of the agriculture department, I took steps to make farmers aware of their rights and facilities. The farmers now started visiting the offices of the agriculture department in sub-divisions and block for the facilities. Earlier farmers didn’t use to get seeds when it was actually needed. The problem no more exists.
In which sector of agriculture will the state may get Krishi Karman Award the next year and what would you like to do for farmers if you become the Agriculture Minister again?
A: If everything goes as planned, West Bengal will bag the Krishi Karman Award for the fifth consecutive year next time and it will for the increase in production of cereals. Cultivation of cereals has been started in additional 75,000 hectre land and it will help to increase the production by another 15 per cent. I would like to ensure that loans to farmers are sanctioned timely and they get proper price of crops so that they can make some profit.
Do you want to be minister of any other department if voted back to power again?
A: I don’t think about all this at all. I am confident of giving my best as a minister as per the direction of Mamata Banerjee.
Factional feud had been in the headlines after Sanjay Roy was murdered. Will it have any impact on the result of the poll here?
A: Buro (Sanjay Roy) was a good human being. He used to work for the society and people here, too, have feelings for him and his family members. It will not leave any impact on the election.
Will any recent issues like the sting operation and flyover collapse be any factor in the election?
A: People are not ready to accept the canards which are being spread by Left Front and Congress. Around 8.5 crore people have been benefitted by the development projects taken up by the TMC government under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee in the past four and half years. We have full faith on people and they know who is what better than us.
What about the generation of employment here as this is one of the fast developing areas in the state?
A: Though the area is not an industrial one there are enormous scope of developing job opportunities. With the fast development of the place big players of different sectors including automobile and health have set up their units and showrooms here and recruited hundreds of youths. In 70’s there were two factories in the area. Highrises had come up on the plots of the closed factories under the guardianship of the CPI(M) leader Subhas Chakraborty.
Have you picked up any new method to reach more and more people?
A: Yes, banners with teasers like “Manush Mere Manush Prem/Abar Harbe CPM” is one of the kind which have been put up everywhere in the Assembly constituency. Moreover, I am travelling in a toto as it is easier to campaign in this battery-operated vehicle even in narrow lanes and by-lanes.