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April 25, 2011

Mamata Banerjee in an interview with a private news channel

Mamata Banerjee in an interview with a private news channel

Calcutta, April 24: Mamata Banerjee today said that she had plans to convert the Shahid Minar grounds into a permanent meeting venue for political parties in Calcutta to spare the people the trouble of rallies and meetings in the heart of the city.

“There should be one meeting venue in the city and I have plans to convert Shahid Minar (grounds) into that. Anybody can get permission if applied 15 days before the meeting,” Mamata said during an interview to STAR Ananda, expressing her intention to bring order to the chaotic city if voted to power.

Although the interviewer asked whether she would also consider the Brigade Parade Grounds as a possible meeting venue, she chose to go by the rule book saying the Maidan was an army property and the high court had put in place restrictions on political meetings.

Ms Banerjee made it clear that if voted to power, she would ensure that the people were allowed to move freely.

“The law of the land has to be enforced…. We will not tolerate blockades and bandhs. I think there should be stronger laws to deal with blockades,” Ms Banerjee said.

According to her, other parties should take lessons from Trinamool, which has shunned bandhs and blockades for more than two years.

As Ms Banerjee rolled out her plans for the state, she suggested that the change of guard at the Writers’ Buildings was just a matter of time. Referring to an independent survey, which forecasted 215 seats for the Trinamool-Congress alliance and 74 for the Left Front, she said: “The tally of 74 includes Jadavpur and Tollygunge. Take it from me; they will lose both the seats. I have doubts whether they will cross 50.”

Mamata Banerjee said she would bring in a slew of administrative reforms to deliver on development. “I will pick up the best of the officers with the commitment to work hard. Those who will deliver will be rewarded,” she said, promising to kickstart growth and development in Bengal.

She, however, made it clear that her development agenda would be different from what the Left had planned for the state.


“We will not allow the nuclear power plant in Haripur because a nuclear power plant cannot come up in a congested area. Similarly, we will not allow the chemical hub in Nayachar… Nayachar will have eco-friendly industries.”


Mamata Banerjee also said that she would draw up a master plan for closed factories.