March 25, 2014
Trinamool Chairperson slams Centre for financially depriving Bengal at a rally in Naxalbari
Trinamool Chairperson Ms. Mamata Banerjee addressed a rally earlier today at Naxalbari in Darjeeling district while campaigning for the party candidate for the Darjeeling constituency, Bhaichung Bhutia. During her speech she came down heavily on the BJP for trying to fuel separatist sentiments in the State. She also slammed the Centre for neglecting the debt moratorium and demand for financial package for Bengal. She said these parties are no different from the CPI(M). She added Trinamool is fighting a lone battle, but people are with her.
Transcript of the Chairperson`s speech:
The previous government run by the Left had incurred a debt of around Rs 2 lakh crore. The Congress and BJP Governments in the Centre allowed them to take those loans. Why did they not ask the CPI(M) to follow fiscal discipline? They are criticizing us but are quiet about the fact that the people of Bengal are deprived. I am not afraid of money power, muscle power or mafia power. I believe in man power. That is why our slogan is – Ma, Mati, Manush.
People who are born in privileged families, how can they understand the pain of the poor people. Some people who live in the lap of luxury are suddenly worried about the food security of the people just before elections. The Opposition must answer why has the Centre taken away Rs 76000 crore from Bengal? I urge people not to vote for the Congress which is anti-people.
The Centre is not releasing funds which the State deserves. Yet they are taking away the revenue we collect. From JNNURM to Health, the Centre has withheld funds for several sectors. They have been cheating Bengal. Why has the Centre not done anything to repair National Highways in North Bengal? I have lost count of the number of times I have I have written to them, I have lost count. I would have repaired the State Highways much faster, had they been in bad condition. I am a fighter. I will keep on fighting for the people. My life is one of struggle.
Every five years a political party comes to Bengal and promises to divide the State for vote-bank. The plains and the Hills are one. Everyone is like my family. We will not allow Bengal to be divided. BJP is fuelling separatist sentiments and hatching conspiracies to divide Bengal. Both Bhaichung and Gautam are my brothers. You cannot separate the heart from the body. Do not give a single vote to BJP.
I am completely against Bandhs. Common people lose their livelihood. Tourism is hit. We have already created GTA. We have already given them money for development. We want development. If you vote for Trinamool we will not allow a single incident of Bandh in the Hills; there will be peace.
Bhaichung Bhutia is an asset for Bengal. He is our pride. A person who has lived in Kolkata, who has been the National Football team Captain, how can he be an outsider? He does not need to clarify himself.
We are developing Gazaldoba as a tourism hub. Siliguri Commissionerate has been set up. We have set up fair price medicine shops in Darjeeling. We have renovated the North Bengal Medical College completely. We have given focus on the drinking water problems of the region. Uttar Kanya, the branch secretariat is already functional.
Centre surreptitiously gave away Teesta water to Bangladesh. They wanted to deprive people of Bengal of irrigation and drinking water. I have stopped them from doing so. We have taken measures to prevent flood in Jalpaiguri. Embankments have been set up at Teesta River. We have done huge works for the development of minority community people. The workers of the tea gardens are being provided with rice at Rs.2/kilo. There has been a wave of development in the area.
The CPI(M) divided North Bengal. They pit Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar against each other. North Bengal was broken into pieces. We are rebuilding it all. 11 lakh girls have been brought under the purview of Kanyashree scheme. Right now the work is on hold due to elections and will be resumed once the polls are over.
Only one university was set up by Left regime. We set up 8 universities in two and half years. We have set up a university for women. We have started a university named after Panchanan Barma and Nazrul Islam. We are boosting tea industry. Tea tourism will boost the economy of the region. A film city is coming up in North Bengal. At least 3 ITIs are coming up in Darjeeling district only.
As long as I live I will work for the people. If somebody thinks that while criticizing me, they will disrespect the people of Bengal, deprive our people, then you should remember that people will speak up.
We want a Government at the Centre that will not neglect Bengal. We quit the UPA when its policies went against the people. They hiked the prices of all essential commodities. Only Trinamool Congress protested when all Opposition parties sat silent. The Cong-CPI(M)-BJP have become united. We are fighting alone. We have the courage. We have the people by our side. Bengal cannot be compared to other states like Gujarat. They do not have the debt like us. Their population is less.
We have fielded 11 women candidates which 27% of the total. This is the highest in India. We have balanced youth and experience in our candidate list. We have artists as well as politicians. Do not vote for the parties that seek to divide people on the basis of religion for votes. We do not support riots. I am not a person who comes to North Bengal only during polls. I visit the districts all the year round.
I wish you all Shubho Nobo Borsho in advance. I will come again to North Bengal very soon.