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August 27, 2011

Milestones in 100 days of the Ma, Mati, Manush Government

Milestones in 100 days of the Ma, Mati, Manush Government

The Ma, Mati, Manush Government did wonders to turn the State around in just One Hundred days. Historical decisions, major tactical moves and brilliant ideas marked these 100 days.

May 20: Ms. Banerjee`s first big measure began just after the moment she was sworn in. True to her image of a people’s Chief Minister, Ms. Banerjee walked down the less-than-a-km distance between Raj Bhawan, where she took the oath, to the State Secretariat in Writers` Buildings. Not ready to lose a minute, she presided over a cabinet meeting on the very first day that went on almost till midnight.

May 24: Ms. Banerjee pays a surprise visit to Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial hospital, better known as SSKM. The visit took the authorities by surprise who were completely unprepared for the visit that was kept secret by the Chief Minister. She was enraged to see the chaos in the premier state-run hospital and even suspended the head of Bangur Institute of Neurology, a wing of the hospital. The surprise visit to hospitals became ms. Banerjee’s hallmark in the subsequent days.

June 10: Following the directive of Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Education Minister Bratya Basu constituted a 10-member committee to suggest ways to overhaul higher education. The committee would suggest methods to improve the functioning of colleges and universities apart from changes in legislations governing higher educational institutions. The Governor M K Narayanana, who is the Chancellor of state universities, has frozen all appointment related activities in universities. The higher education department aims floating a process where vice chancellors could be impeached. On July 17 the school education department formed a 19-member committee to revamp primary, secondary and higher secondary syllabi.

June 14: Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill passed in the Assembly. This was Mamata Banerjee’s most dramatic move in the first 100 days. Returning about 400 acres of the 997.17-acre plot to the unwilling farmers was the first resolution in the first cabinet meeting and she took the first step towards fulfilling it by vesting the land leased to Tata Motors through this Bill.

June 29: Ms. Mamata Banerjee set up a eight-member mentor group to help Presidency University grow into a world-class institution. While Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen was named the chief mentor, Harvard historian Sugata Bose became its chairperson. The mentor group was asked to make short, medium and long-term recommendations.  The first report of recommendation and reviews of implementation was submitted on August 25. The next reports will be submitted in January 2012, August 2012, January 2013 and June 2013. Apart from making recommendations the government has asked the mentor group to monitor its implementation process for the next two years.

July 7: The Chief Minister mandated a group of six civil society members to start and initiate dialogue with the Maoists. On July 20, 2011 Ms. Mamata Banerjee announced 52 political prisoners would be released in the state in the first phase.


July 18: Government signs treaty with GJM forming Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. This was a big bang achievement for the government, and a personal milestone for Ms. Banerjee, who was seen solving the vexed Hill problem within two months, which the Left Front was battling for years. The treaty grants a great degree of autonomy to the people of the Hills, handing over 59 departments such as PWD and education.


August 6: Bengal got central financial help of Rs 21,614 crore. After much wrangling the Center finally gave in, but only a small part of the necessary fund. Of the amount, Rs 9,240 crore was grant-in-aid and the rest of the money was project specific. Bengal is burdened with a debt much in excess of Rs 2.03 lakh crore (2,030 billion) after 34 years of Left Front rule.