mamata says bill is a political gimmick
sns & pti
BANKURA, 22 JUNE: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today asked why the UPA government was in a hurry to legislate the Food Security Bill when its continuance was in doubt, while denying that Trinamul Congress was opposed to it.
“The Congress is saying that they are going to pass the National Food Security Bill and the Trinamul Congress is obstructing it,” Miss Banerjee told a panchayat election meeting here in Bankura district.
“You (UPA government) have not done it for over four years and now when it is time for immersion what is the hurry?” she asked.
“We support the Food Security Bill. But the Centre should ensure it reaches the people,” she said, doubting the efficacy of the proposed cash transfer in lieu of foodgrains when banking facilities were unavailable in remote areas.
Questioning if it was feasible for a villager to spend Rs 40 on transport to go to collect Rs 12, she said her government was already providing rice at Rs 2 per kg in Junglemahal despite its limited financial resources.
Claiming that it was a "political gimmick" and that the Centre did not have the required funds to implement the scheme across the country, she said: “The responsibility of food security should be left by the Centre to the states.”
Dwelling on her party quitting the UPA on allowing FDI in retail and other “anti-people” policies, she said her party had allied with the Congress after assurance from it at the time that it would not compromise with the CPI-M. “But I found that they did not change,” she added.
She reiterated that the Centre was getting huge interest from the state on loans taken by the former Left Front government.
Addressing a rally in the Khatra area the chief minister promised another university for South Bengal.
Miss Banerjee said: “Bankura has always fared well in all examinations. We need to have a university here. If the Christian College authorities allow us to use its premises, it can be started anytime.”
The Burdwan University covers 77 colleges across five South Bengal districts. The state has declared one university at Asansol after poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Now the chief minister has proposed another university in Bankura today. Miss Banerjee said: “Besides universities in Cooch Behar, a university in Diamond Harbour will also start operating soon.” She also hinted that a private university would soon come up in Bankura.
Miss Banerjee was addressing a rally at the tribal-dominated Khatra area which was once a Maoist den and witnessed several bloodbaths in the past decade. She, however, reiterated that Maoists are now hand in glove with the CPI-M and Congress. She said: “I trust Left politics. But those who come out of the jungle and butcher innocent people are goons.”
Miss Banerjee stressed on the need for setting up a tourism circuit across Jhilimili-Mukutmoni-pur besides setting up rock climbing centres in Jhilimili, Bihar-inath and Susunia hill areas. These areas are popular amoung amateur trekkers in the state.