West Bengal is ahead of Central govt: Mamata
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, while welcoming anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s support to her ‘vision’ in the upcoming Lok Sabha election, said the UPA government is filled with ‘feudal landlords’. Addressing a joint press conference with Anna at the Constitution Club of India in the national capital on Wednesday, she said, ‘I question the credibility of the central government for crushing the dream and democratic rights of the people. There is an urgent need for a change, which we did in West Bengal and the policies should be there to empower the states and not to create feudal landlords.’
Expressing her happiness over Anna’s blessing, Mamata said, ‘I had a discussion with Anna ji over the 17-point agenda for the betterment of the country. I would like to say that most of the points raised by him are already there in our plan of action and there should be reforms in most of the areas including judiciary, land acquisition bill, unemployment issue, solar power and ministerial reforms etc.’
On the context of electoral reform, she said, ‘Decision on who will be the prime minister should be finalised after the election results. It should be like a post-paid and not a pre-paid system. We want a stable government because we have already became the victim of circumstances.’
Mamata claimed that good governance is possible with ‘sound governance’ and said, ‘In West Bengal we have proved that only a better system can lead towards development. We are way ahead of the central government in many areas including tax growth and per capita growth.’
Statistics reveal that the per capita growth of central government is 4.9 per cent as compared to 7.6 per cent in West Bengal. The index of Industrial Production (IIP) in India is grown by only 0.05 percent as compared to 6.65 percent in West Bengal.
Not the least, the tax collection in West Bengal (2012-2013) grew by 31.57 per cent, which is a record. From April to August, West Bengal’s tax growth in India was 21.6 per cent, which was second highest in India. Mamata said the state is not begging for alms from the Centre, but merely asking for its due.
‘West Bengal is facing severe financial crisis as the Centre took away most of the taxes (Rs 70,000 crore) collected by it as payments on interest. We are not going beg and I am proud to announce that we have saved Rs 1500 crore through efficiency, she said, while announcing that her government will soon reduce electricity rates.
She said, ‘I came to Delhi only because of Anna ji and for his blessing amid busy schedule. I have to finalise a series of meetings in the district levels with small number of IAS officers. Out of 314, we have only 212 IAS officers but sill we have done better than the central government.’
On the context of fielding candidates at the national level, she said, ‘We will field candidates in Tripura, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh but in northern and southern India selection and fielding of candidates will be decided after discussions with Anna ji.’
Anna, who was sitting beside Mamata, while ruling out his support to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, said, ‘I am not going to support them. I will do what I can for the betterment of nation. I have extended my support to Mamata because she thinks and works only for society and country. She is a chief minister and can lead a life of luxury, but she has decided to lead a simple life.’
He said, ‘She is the only leader who responded to my letter seeking support on 17 issues for good governance. I am supporting Mamata for her ideas to serve the nation and it is good to see that she is not power hungry. My support to her will be till the Lok Sabha election. I will not support any political party after election.’ While stressing for a need to implement ‘Right to Reject’ and ‘Right to Recall’ in the electoral system, he said, ‘It is unfortunate that these are yet to be implemented even though we have achieved independence.’