Reacting sharply to the criticism by BJP president Amit Shah, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday came out with a point-by-point rebuttal of his claims that Bengal had steadily moved backwards on various development indices. Slamming the Narendra Modi-led central government of double speak, Mamata alleged that it had not fulfilled several of its pre-poll promises for the state.
"They had promised to acquire seven tea gardens before the state elections. It's been a year since the elections, has any tea garden been acquired by the centre?" she asked while speaking to media persons in Alipurduar district in north Bengal.
"They are busy giving big speeches. If we are lagging behind in agricultural growth, then why has the centre awarded Bengal with its "Krishi Karman" award for five consecutive years? Let facts speak for themselves," she added.
MAMATA CLAIMS OF CENTRAL NEGLIGENCE
Mamata's rebuttal comes on a day when Amit Shah challenged the Trinamool Congress supremo over her repeated claims of Central negligence. Claiming that the BJP government had hiked the state's share of central taxes by nearly three times, Shah said, "Let me challenge her with facts. Let her come up a public rebuttal rather than beating around the bush."
"During independence Bengal's contribution to India's growth was 25%, but today it has come down to a meagre 4%. This clearly shows how first under the Communist rule and later under the Trinamool Congress, Bengal's contribution to the national growth has seen a steady decline," the BJP chief added.
Shah said when the Left was in power, Bengal's loan burden was Rs 1,92,000 crore, a figure that now stood at a staggering Rs 3,50,000 crore. However, rubbishing these claims Mamata accused the BJP of obfuscating reality through paid campaigns on social media.
BJP HAS CRORES TO SPEND ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO SPREAD FALSEHOODS
"Some people think they can manage without doing any work as they have crores to spend on social media and spread falsehoods. But, this is Bengal and we have survived here due to our hard work," she said.
"While average agricultural growth in the county was 1.1%, Bengal grew at 6%. So who is flop?" Mamata asked, countering Shah with her own statistics.
"Don't sermonise Bengal about development. Does Gujarat have such a huge state debt?" the chief minister asked adding that not just in agriculture, but even in industry and service sectors the state had performed better than the national average.
"We won the golden peacock award for e-governance. Actually, they (BJP) can't think of any other state than the ones they rule," Banerjee said.