March 3, 2011
Mamata Banerjee plans Upper House for state
NEW DELHI, March 2: “Amra, tomra noy, amader Bangla,” (Not ours or theirs, but everyones Bengal), will be the Trinamool Congress`s campaign slogan for the upcoming West Bengal assembly polls. The evocative punch line is Trinamool Congress counter to hit out at chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee`s reference to the ruling side (ours) and the Opposition (theirs) that had made headlines during the post-Singur, Nandigram political polarisation in the state. With the distinct possibility of a change of regime emerging in the state after 35 years of Left Front rule, Trinamool Chair Person Mamata Banerjee has plans for a two-tier legislature in the state. She wants to form a Vidhan Parishad, or an Upper House, alongside the directly elected Vidhan Sabha. While Trinamool will include a proper plan for industrialisation in the state in the party`s poll manifesto, an advisory council on the lines of a Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) is being worked out that will comprise experts on land acquisition and other related subjects. The proposed Council will create a roadmap for industrialisation, education, health reforms and the like in the state. Ms Banerjee plans to have an elevated chief minister`s office (CMO) akin to PMO, which could even include one or two ministers of state (MoS), with designated responsibilities and a good number of joint secretary-level officers assigned to specific departments.