Trinamool Congress Chairperson Ms Mamata Banerjee began her visit to the districts today, starting off with a meeting at Pailan in South 24 Parganas.
Today's meeting was attended by members of the Zilla Parishad, Municipalities, Panchayat Samitis, Gram Panchayats and the party's frontal organisations in the district. The Chairperson reviewed the activities of the party in the district and addressed a gathering of party workers.
The Chairperson formed a Steering Committee (to be headed by Joynagar MP Pratima Mandal) to monitor the work done at panchayat level. She asked all party wings to maintain coordination.
Here is what the Chairperson said at the meeting:
I congratulate all of you for maintaining an environment of peace and harmony during the festive season. I thank the people of all communities, castes, creed and religion for maintaining communal harmony. Carry forward the culture and heritage of Bengal.
I am thankful to the people of Bengal for showering their love on us. The sea of humanity today proves that even if we organize a meeting at Brigade grounds, the space will still be small.
Politics is not for minting money. Politics is meant for serving the people. Politics is all about dedication, determination, devotion. Politics requires sacrifice.
The posts that we have now are all given to us by the people. We will be in power as long as they want. We will continue to serve people. Our primary responsibility is to look after people.
During the Left rule, CPM used BJP to split Opposition votes, so that they can win. Now CPM workers are joining the BJP. Now that BJP is in power at Centre, they are trying to incite riots in Bengal. I will not allow that as long as I am alive. The two flowers in Trinamool logo represent Hindu and Muslim. They represent agriculture and industry.
A section of the media is constantly engaging in smear campaign against the party. Some people think multi crore smear campaigns will help them in coming to power. BJP only beats its own drum on social media. Few parties are using money power. Small parties like ours who do not have money, how will we survive? Trinamool has always demanded electoral reforms.
I am answerable only to the people. Earlier journalists would risk their lives to show the truth. Sections of the media think they have become God.
When CPM was in power they incurred huge debts. Central Govt (under Cong and BJP) allowed them. After coming to power, we enacted the FRBM system. India has federal system. But are States economically autonomous? Delhi took away major part of our revenue. The new Central Govt wants to restrict MNREGA to a few blocks. Why would other blocks suffer?
Centre has deregulated the price of diesel and fertilizers. Fuel prices have come down drastically in the global market. Have prices come down in India in a proportional manner? When potato prices were hovering between Rs 60-80 in rest of India, in Bengal the price was Rs 22 only. The Centre has hiked FDI in defence. The Centre has no faith on our own scientists?
I have no problem if the section of media slanders me. But I will not tolerate any insult to the people of Bengal. The Left incurred debts. And we are paying for their sins. Centre is taking major share of our revenue. Centre is trying to deprive us of funds. We will fight back.
Bengal is No. 1 in 100 Days' Work Scheme. I have conducted 75 block-level meetings. Has any other Government conducted meetings at grassroots level? Our Govt does not sit idly in the Capital. We have started 8 new universities. A new women's university has started functioning at Diamond Harbour.
Till 2011, Bengal had only 1300 medical seats. We added 1400 new seats in the last 3 years. We have done away with the system of paying beds. We are selling medicines at 60% discount. We have started fair price medicine shops. And the Central Govt has hiked the price of life-saving drugs.
A section of the media glorified the chit funds, carried their ads. Chit funds started in Bengal during Left rule. Why did the Centre issue media licenses to the chit funds? Lending a hand of support to innocent sufferers is not corruption.
I love Bangladesh. That does not mean I support illegal infiltration. Terrorists do not have any religion, caste or creed. Blaming one community for the fault of one person is not right. Are they not ashamed of Babri Masjid demolition and Gujarat riots? Do you know there were communal clashes in Gujarat in September?
I also belong to a Hindu family. My culture teaches me to respect all religions. Swami Vivekananda had said Hinduism is a universal religion. He taught us to respect all religions. Ramakrishna Paramhansa taught us about unity of all religions. There is a masjid inside Belur Math. We respect Ramakrishna Mission. We also go to Furfura Sharif.
Inform local police stations and send a copy to the party HQ if you witness any untoward incident. Do not fall prey to the tactics of those who want to incite riots. Fire of riots will destroy everything. I believe in work culture. You must carry out the developmental works for poor people.
Those who think I am not aware of day-to-day activities of the party, are wrong. I have all the information. Corporation elections will be held on time. New generation of leaders will have to emerge from the youth. We have to shape them.
Bengal is No. 1 in skill development. We are setting up fair price diagnostic centres. Critical Care Units are coming up in every sub-divisional hospital. Our Kanyashree scheme has been praised all over the world. We have distributed over 2 lakh land pattas in the last 3 years. We started Nija Griha Nija Bhoomi scheme to empower landless and homeless people. Be positive.
Think positive. Stay positive. People watch your actions. If you commit some wrong, people blame the party. So, be careful about what you do. Discipline is very important in public life.