No development in Bengal despite regime change: Jairam Ramesh

Indo Asian News Service

Lalgarh (West Bengal, Dec 8 (IANS) Claiming that the Congress has got a new lease of life in West Bengal after parting ways with the Trinamool Congress, union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Saturday regretted that despite a change in regime, the state has not seen any development.

In an apparent dig at state Chief Minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and her style of functioning, Ramesh said while one needs energy and vigour to organise protests and lead movements, running of a government requires "some sense".

"I am sorry to say though political change has come in West Bengal, it ahs not been accompanied by development," he said and predicted that there would be a "parivartan (change) of the parivartan" in absence of development.

"And it is Congress which can only bring in the new change."

He urged Congress workers to go to the people ahead of the coming panchayat polls in the state and tell them that having seen the administrations run by the Left Front and Trinamool Congress, they should now give a chance to the Congress.

"If we can put up a good fight in the panchayat polls, then I am sure the 2016 assembly polls will bring in a change and then the Congress will get a chance to govern.

Targeting the Trinamool, Ramesh told a rally here in West Midnapore district that the sort of the language used by the state's ruling party was improper. "The sort of language being used, the way the prime minister is criticised, is not proper."

The Congress and Trinamool were ruling alliance partners in the both the centre and the state till September this year, when Mamata Banerjee's party quit the UPA dispensation in Delhi protesting against its decisions to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, hike diesel prices and restrict the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders.

The Congress responded by leaving her cabinet and calling off the alliance in the state.

"With the Trinamool gone, the Congress has got a new lease of life in the state. Those who call the Congress B team or C team of other parties don't know our party," Ramesh said.

In another veiled attack on Banerjee, Ramesh said: "Some people begin their political career in the Congress, take full advantage of the party and then throw it aside."

He also said that in the current year, the central government has allocated Rs.2,700 crore for implementation of the rural job guarantee scheme and also sanctioned construction of 5,500 kilometre roads under the in the state under the prime minister's rural roads programme.

He alleged that certain central schemes like providing employment to rural women (called Ananadadhara in West Bengal) are being trumpeted as state government projects.