The long-held-up railway project intended to connect Furfura Sharif with Dankuni has surfaced as an issue in the election campaign, with the BJP and CPI-M holding the ruling party responsible for not taking appropriate initiatives towards the completion of the rail link.
Mr Kalyan Banerjee, the sitting MP for Serampore, on his part, refutes the allegations and holds the BJP solely responsible for the Centre not allotting funds for the project.
The BJP candidate for the Serampore seat, Mr Debjit Sarkar, said, “Mr Kalyan Banerjee wasted most of his energy in Parliament criticising the BJP and finding fault with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has hardly spoken on issues related to the implementation of development schemes and projects in Bengal.”
“The Trinamul Congress is well-known for conducting agitations and andolans for the cause of the people, Mr Banerjee could very well have gone on an agitation, started an Andolan or even sat on dharna and hungerstrike pressing their demand for the completion of the held-up project to connect Furfura Sharif with Dankuni, but Mr Banerjee was more interested in attacking the BJP and Mr Narendra Modi than in raising issues and debates in Parliament relating to held-up projects and implementation of new projects and schemes for the welfare of the common people,” Mr Sarkar said.
The CPI-M candidate for the seat, Mr Tirthankar Roy said the Trinamul Congress was never sincere about ensuring the completion of the railway track connecting Furfura Sharif with Dankuni. “The state chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who laid the foundation stone for the project when she was the railway minister, after the BJP came to power, did little towards ensuring the implementation of the project.
Instead, she kept the issue hanging, while putting all the blame on the Central government. it was a well-planned game of the state government to attract the minority votes in their favour,” he said.
The Furfura Sharif Pirzada, Toha Siddiqui, said, “Furfura Sharif is a holy place which is visited by people of all faiths, hence it is not proper for any political party to make the held-up railway project a political or election issue.
However, it is really unfortunate that that the project to connect Furfura Sharif with Dankuni which was taken up when Mamata Banerjee was the railway minister, was not given due importance, even though Mr Dinesh Trivedi and then Mr. Mukul Roy, all from the Trinamul Congress, held the railway minister’s post after Miss Banerjee became the West Bengal chief minister.”
Mr Kalyan Banerjee said when Miss Mamata Banerjee was the railway minister, she had allotted sufficient fund towards the completion of the Furfura Sharif-Dankuni project, people who had provided land for the project were given compensation and jobs, and every effort was made for completion of the railway project. “But soon after the BJP came to power the railway project was intentionally neglected and funds were not allotted,” he alleged.
The BJP should first look at their own fault before pointing fingers towards the Trinamul Congress which is the symbol of progress and development, Mr Banerjee said.