West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee protested over the Swachh Bharat cess and a range of other issues, including alleged refusal to finance flood relief in Bengal.
While addressing a public meeting at the Kalipur ground in Hooghly’s Arambagh after an administrative meeting in the district, she said , “Someone is busy harping on Swachh Bharat and promoting himself, while I am doing all the work here.”
Banerjee inaugurated a slew of projects at the meeting apart from laying the foundation stone for the fifth unit of Bandel Thermal Power Station (BTPS) that will come up with World Bank assistance.
While talking about the BTPS projects, she said, “People reeling under frequent load shedding during Left rule would often joke about it with the lyrics of the popular Bengali song ‘tomar dekha nai re’. But power cuts are now a passé and we have set up a power bank with World Bank help. Soon, Bengal will sell power to other states.”
Two representatives of the World Bank were present on the dais with the Chief Minister.
Criticising the Centre for “discriminating against Bengal over flood relief”, she said, “It took Delhi just a week to act when floods ravaged Tamil Nadu. But eight months have passed since floods hit Bengal, yet no assistance has reached the state. It is the state government which is executing flood-relief work with its own funds. We have already spent Rs 850 crore for the purpose and I have allocated another Rs 800 crore.”
The Chief Minister cited statistics and said, “It’s not just flood relief. The Centre has even reduced its allocations under the ICDS, Asha and MSK schemes.”
Fresh attack from the Chief Minister comes days after she returned from his Bihar sojourn where she attended the swearing-in of her counterpart Nitish Kumar and days after inviting the grand-alliance leaders like Lalu Yadav, Kumar, and Arvind Kejriwal to the world business summit to be held in January in Kolkata.