Chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee during her official administrative meeting in Purulia yesterday directed the district administration to focus on homestays, cottages and eco-tourism projects to boost the tourism in the district.
One of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s biggest strengths is to make the most of an opportunity. And with Parliamentary elections coming up in less than a year, she is not letting slip a single chance to connect with the people.
One sunny day last week, making good use of the generally joyous spirit of the ongoing festive season, therefore, she had leaders of her grassroots Trinamul party embark on a journey distributing sweets across the city of Kolkata. And the mode of transport which she decided to employ for this unique venture was…….wait for it…..what else but the iconic Bengali tram.
“Mamata Banerjee comes up with extremely original ideas to connect with the general people,” said Trinamul leader and Rajya Sabha member Dola Sen. “Instead of just giving bhashon (lectures) before elections she tries to reach out to people in different ways in order to understand their issues and problems.
And ‘Bijoya’ is the perfect time to do just that,” she said. Bijoya, the tradition of greeting one another with sweets and best wishes beginning from “Doshomi”, the last day of Durga Puja when the Goddess is supposed to return to her heavenly abode in the Himalayas after a heady, five-day sojourn on earth, continues till Kali Puja, the day of the next new moon, when she is worshipped in a different avatar.
Mamata Banerjee, in order to celebrate the idea of “Goddess” and “Shakti” which is the predominant theme of this season of “women power” decided to highlight the different public distribution schemes she has started for women in her state.
These include the hugely popular Lakshmir Bhandar (in which women from poor families receive Rs 1000 in their bank accounts every month), the Rupashree scheme (in which the families who belong to the ‘below poverty line’ category’ receive a one-time financial assistance of Rs 25,000 during a daughter’s marriage) and of course the internationally acclaimed Kanyashree scheme (in which girls from poor families receive free education and other benefits related to their studies).
The tram trip across the city of Kolkata, which was conducted by Trinamul’s women wing and led by minister Chandrima Bhattachary, and which can arguably be called a kick start to the campaigning for next year, caught passengers by what one of them called a “pleasant surprise.”