STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Raiganj, 6 January
Visibly upset with the Centre having almost washed its off regarding the proposed AIIMS clone in Raiganj, the Union minister of state for urban development and Congress MP from Raiganj, Deepa Das Munshi today said the sectarian politics being indulged in by the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee is stonewalling the project.
She said so from Delhi over phone when called up for reaction to the Union health and family welfare minister, Gulam Nabi Azad having said in Kolkata today that they cannot move unless the state government acquires land for the project.
Dwelling on the long history behind the dream project of the ailing Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, she said the proposal had been adopted in a Union cabinet meeting way back in 2009. “Acting on it, the district administration had earmarked 120 acres of land for the AIIMS clone at Sitgram in Raiganj. In 2010, a Central team had visited the land and reported the land as viable for housing the AIIMS clone. In 2012, the chief minister during her visit to Itahar said that land would be acquired only if the farmers willingly agree to part with their farmlands. Spurred by it, the willing farmers visited the CM&’s office in Kolkata, urging her to acquire their plots. But the CM maliciously keeps on with her stony silence,” the Union minister said.
On 27 December last, the chief minister maintained an enigmatic silence on the project while addressing a rally at Karnajora in Raiganj. Mrs Das Munshi said the Centre is ready with the funds. “The only bottleneck left is the acquisition of the land by the state government,” she added.
Calling the state government&’s studied silence as an instance of betrayal with the people of entire north Bengal, she said if the project comes up as envisioned by the ailing Priya Das Munshi the people of north Bengal would reap the benefit as a whole. “The people would give the befitting reply to the vindictive ruling party at the appropriate time,” she warned.
Rubbishing her betrayal allegation against the state government, the senior Trinamul Congress leader from North Dinajpur, Amal Acharjee said had Mrs Das Munshi been so sincere she would have met the district magistrate along with the willing farmers as directed by the CM. “But she has not done so. The CM has never said anything against the AIIMS clone here. She only stresses that things would look up once the farmers concerned part with the lands on their own,” he added.