Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday slammed the Centre for what she called ‘bulldozing’ of the federal system of the country, and alleged that the “government in Delhi” had been “gifting” the money of the common people to “some billionaires.” The CM was addressing a public meeting on the District Sports Association grounds in English Bazaar in Malda on Tuesday.

“The money that had been siphoned off by people like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi will be recovered by the prime minister by lowering the interest rate of small investment funds and imposing new taxes on the people of the country,” Miss Banerjee said, even as she compared the central ministries to corporate houses.

After reaching Malda in a helicopter around 2 pm from Murshidabad, the CM headed for the DSA ground where a crowd of over 5,000, including Kanyashree, Sabuj Sathi and other beneficiaries, welcomed her. In the presence of state ministers like Firhad Hakim, Rabindranath Ghosh and Indranil Sen, she flagged off 48 projects worth more than 250 crores and laid foundation stones for another 46 projects, while also extending financial help to almost 7,500 people under 24 different schemes.

The CM also announced that she has allocated Rs 1200 crore for flood victims in north Bengal. “Malda has remained deprived so far, for we were not able to work here. You all set up a good panchayat in the coming elections here, and we can do a lot of things here,” she urged the people in the meeting.

“The Congress has kept Murshidabad and Malda under its belt for a long time, but did nothing for the districts, but still my government did whatever could be done here without any expectations,” she said. The BJP came under fire for allegedly spreading communalism, when she said, “The BJP always tries to divide the people on the basis of religion and ignite communal clashes, but Bengal will refuse them for they are not the founder of Hinduism though they presume to be so.”

In the administrative meeting she held at the Durgakinkar Sadan under the English Bazaar police station later, Miss Banerjee and Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha, lauded the Malda police. “Police have really done a good job. The Kaliachak problem is under control now.” The CM also invited Police Superintendent of the district, Arnab Ghosh, to speak on what further steps he had taken to control the crime rate. “Other districts can follow the Malda model,” she said. She also praised the district administration. “The DM has done well to increase the MGNREGA work and in the other service sectors,” she said.

The CM also seemed concerned about the huge pressure that is on the Malda Medical College and Hospital. After she had reports from the MMCH Vice-Principal, Amit Dawn, the CM said, “It is really a concern that Malda Medical College gets a huge number of patients daily, not only from within the state, but also from Jharkhand, Bihar and even Bangladesh.

This hampers the service there. We have to do something about it. If we cannot deny treatment, we can at least withdraw the subsidy.” She instructed the health secretary to do the needful in this regard. Worried about the dust and dirt on the Medical College campus, the CM instructed the English Bazaar Municipality to employ 50 labours in three shifts daily to maintain cleanliness there.

She also accepted a proposal of the the Youth TMC leader, Amlan Bhaduri, to set up a cold storage unit at Harishchandrapur. While the CM hiked the loan amount under the Kishan Credit Card from the present Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh, she flatly refused a request made by the Vice Chairman of the English Bazaar Municipality, Dulal Sarkar, to build a girls’ college for Gazole. “No new college is possible right now,” she said. She also shot down the idea to make Chanchal a municipality.