Janatar Darbar with Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee today took live questions from people on different issues and answered them during Janatar Darbar, running simultaneously on a private Bengal news channel and Twitter.

Questions poured in on Twitter and Facebook for the West Bengal Chief Minister, some of which she answered during the programme.

The Chief Minister’s twitter handle @Mamataofficial was the second most popular twitter handle in India during the day.


Here are some excerpts of Didi’s Janatar Darbar:

Q1 by Jagdish Chandra, ETV: Are you confident of coming back to power?

I do not want to make any comments as of now. People are the judge in a democracy. Decision rests with them. Trinamool Congress has done a lot of good work in the last four years. We have served the people.

Q2: How was your experience of running a government for the last four years?

I love the term. I remember writing a book in the ’90s as the voice of people. My life is one of struggle. I have always fought for the rights of people. My struggle still continues. We are combating the financial problems. We have a huge debt burden, yet we are serving the people.

We work 42 hours a day. We are committed to work for the people. People will judge our performance. We brought about financial reforms. We have ushered in economic growth. From the UN to World Bank are honouring Bengal.

We had a shortage of manpower. We had to face many elections because of which we lost a lot of time. We had a shortage of manpower. We had to face many elections because of which we lost a lot of time.

Q3 by Sudipto Mandal from Howrah regarding remuneration for data-entry operators at gram panchayat level.

We want to help the needy people. But our hands are tied because of the debt incurred by the Left. A lion’s share of the revenue earnings is gone in paying salaries and as debt installments. I believe in ensuring roti, kapda, makaan.

Q4 by Dr Shibajipratim Basu, Professor: You are one of the major pillars of national politics. You know the imp of Opposition. Why do you think Opp in Bengal is in a disarray?

This requires a longer debate. We were also in Opposition. Being in Opposition doesn’t mean opposing for the sake of it. Being in Opposition does not entail you will only engage in smear campaign and slander. We believe in constructive criticism. I extended all help to Jyoti Basu during 1992 riots.

People’s movements cannot be led by giving speeches in TV studios. A leader must lead from the front, at grassroots. People are the Mandir, Masjid, Gurdwara in a democracy. During the 1992 riots I was on the streets. The only other person helping out the affected was Mother Teresa. I even went to Writers’ to meet the then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu and offered my help.

As long as Opposition does not let go of its negative attitude, it will be in disarray.


Q5: Bharat Rai from Darjeeling: We are facing cute water crisis in the Hills. What initiatives are you taking?

There was violence in the Hills for a long time. Now the Hills are smiling. We have started development there. We have started several water pipeline projects for the Hills in collaboration with GTA. We love the Hills. We will extend all help to the local administration for all-round development.

Q6: You have been conducting administrative review meetings all over the State…

We are the only State, who conduct such meetings at grassroots. From CM to BDO, everyone is present. We have conducted 97 such meetings. 100th meeting will take place at Bardhaman very soon. It is much easier to check the progress of different projects when you review them at grassroots. Earlier people had to come to Kolkata. Now the Secretariat travels to the districts to listen to the people.

Q7: Supriya, Kolkata: You promised to make Kolkata into London. What initiatives have you taken?

There has been a lot of change in Kolkata. We have undertaken several beautification projects. We started the Kolkata Eye project. It is stuck in Green Bench now. We believe in “Ease of Doing Business”. We have started single window clearance, e-tenders etc.

London is a theme. Kolkata is a congested, old -but gold -city. It is unplanned city. Kolkata is among the top global cities. We are transforming eBusiness.  Out 285, criterias, we have already fulfilled 200.

Q8: Sarthak Roy Chowdhury, Professor: If you were to choose a different CM of Bengal, who you’d choose?

I am no one to decide the CM. People have the right to do so. I leave the decision to them.

Q9 by Anindya Sinha from Baharampur: Is there any plan to start health insurance for primary teachers?

This is a good suggestion. I will discuss this with my Finance Minister. Our government started 731 days of child care leave for female govt employees.


Q10: You have studied in Bengal medium school yourself. But their condition is in shambles now.

There are good teachers in Bengali medium schools also. All mediums of education are good. There are talented students in Bengali medium schools. They are showing good results in exams.

Q11 by Raj Chakraborty, film director: My friends who stay abroad, when they come to Bengal, feel very happy now. However, when we are travelling on highways, there are inadequate rest rooms or toilets.

I also travel on the roads frequently and I can sympathise with Raj. We are working on setting up 200 Patha Sathi (motels) across State Highways. 100 of them are complete. Tollywood is my favourite. I love the cultural world. I hope Tollywood will be compared to Hollywood one day.

Q12 by Amit Datta, IT Sector: Places which have universities can be developed as IT hubs. Any plans?

Skill and talent in Bengal is immense. We are a talent bank. We will inaugurate IIIT at Kalyani. Another industrial park will come up at Panagarh. We are also developing IT Parks, Smart Cities. Every block will get an ITI and every sub-division will get polytechnics. We have a tie up with Raymonds for skill development. We will train 12 lakh people in next 2 years.

Q13 by June Malia, Actor: Didi you are an icon. Many people consider you a role model. Didi what do you do when you are depressed?

When depressed, I like to listen to music or adda with kids. Best way to beat depression is to hit the road.

Q14 by Gautam Sarkar, Footballer: Didi you have immense interest in sports. You have helped a lot of talent. In childhood, which was your favourite sport/game?

We organise Jangalamhal/Sunderbans Cup where nearly 30000 youths participate. We have Himal-Terai Cup also. I used to play danguli, kabaddi, kho kho when I was a child. I also tried my hand at cricket.

Q15 by Ila Ma, Nadia (folk artist): Thank you Didi for ensuring minimum monthly wage for folk artists. Do you have plans for any research centre dedicated to Lalon Fakir?

After coming to power we registered over 35000 folk artists. We honour our culture. If there is any initiative in future for a collaboration with Bangladesh for cultural ties, we will be happy.

Q16: In the last few months, police has been cracking down on anti-social elements heavily.

Bengal is an imp State. Law will take its own course. I do not see political colours will implementing. I am against syndicate raj. I do not support them. Some people blame Trinamool even if there is a dispute between neighbours.

A section of people are trying to incite violence and create chaos. I do not support extortion. Rate of crime in Bengal is much less than other States as per government data. Festivals like Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Eid, Christmas are celebrated in Bengal without any untoward incident.

We have recruited 55000 police force. We created 5 new police commissionerates, 77 new PS, 30 women’s PS. We have set up 19 human rights courts. We are running 88 fast-track courts (45 of them are for women).

Charge sheet for Salboni rape case submitted in 3 days. In Barasat, it was submitted in 8 days. Those who vandalise public property must be made to pay for the damages.

Q17 by Razdan Ali from West Midnapore: There is no boys’ hostel in Midnapore. Is there any plan to build one?

We have increased Budget for Minority Dept 5 fold. We are setting up hostels and Bhavans in every district.


Q18: Amitabha Roy, Entrepreneur: Bengal has a negative perception outside. You are trying a lot to undo it.

The negative perception of Bengal is partly due to the media. They do not show the good side of the State. Section of media has negative approach. They may have problem with me, but do not blame the State.

We organised Biswa Bangla Sammelan. We have set up a core committee with industrialists. My captains of industries give continuous suggestion to Industry Dept. I am visiting London soon. Rs 91000 Cr out of Rs 2.34 Cr investment at Biswa Bangla Sammelan is already under processing.

We have land map and land bank. We have formulated new policy for IT, Industry, MSME. Our revenue earning increased from Rs 21000 Cr to Rs 44000 Cr in 4 years. We are focussing on e-governance. Growth in our State Plan Expenditure is 300%. Growth in agriculture 547%. Growth in physical infrastructure is 300% and that of capital expenditure is 600%.

We have focused on social infrastructure development also. Kanyashree is benefiting lakhs of girls. Heavy industry is also coming to Bengal. SAIL is expanding. IISCO has been rejuvenated.

There are three hydel power projects in north Bengal.

Q19 by Anindita Roychowdhury, Psychiatrist: Any plans for the development of infrastructure at mental health institutes?

We are running Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan although the Centre has stopped allocating funds. We are giving importance to mental health. We must carry out our responsibilities with due diligence. We have formed a committee under Dr Ashokendu Sen for the development of various mental homes.

Q20 by Shovan Sundar (poet): Recitation artists must also get prominence along with musicians at cultural events.

This is a good suggestion. I will surely work on this issue.

Q21 by Joydeb Mishra, Professor: You have given lot of power to BDOs. This has borne fruit. State is progressing. Do you have plans to diversify these initiatives?

We have Administrative Calendar which sets deadline for every project. Review meets are held regularly. We are a collectively family – officials and public representatives work together for people. I have development 3-tier administrative system: BDO-DM-CM.

I am proud to say 22 lakh girls have registered under Kanyashree scheme. It received UN recognition. Our sanitation programme got international acclaim.

We are No. 1 in India. We are No. 1 in 100 Days’ Work, Skill Development as well as e-services. UNESCO is showcasing artisans from Bengal at a programme in Paris. FAO has recognised the Mati Tirtha initiative of Bengal. Jangalmahal is a model of India. We are No. 1 in MSME also.

Forty one multi super speciality hospitals are being set up in Bengal. Bengal is a role model in healthcare. We have increased beds at hospitals by 24000. Seats at medical colleges have been increased from 1400 to 2900 in just 4 years. There were only 6 SNCUs. We have set up 46 SNCUs. There were no SNSUs earlier. We set up 286 such units. We have set up 17 medical hubs and 7 health districts.

We have set up 99 fair price medicine shops and 58 Fair price diagnostic centers. Beds are free at govt hospitals. We’ve set up 58 fair price diagnostic centres where people can services like dialysis at discounted rate.

Q22 by Sandhya Suchoria: You gave focus to IT in your Manifesto. What steps are you taking to address brain drain?

This is the age of competition. We must conserve the ‘Brain Bank’ in Bengal. We must expand the IT industry. We are identifying areas where we can set up IT parks. We will give incentives to those who come to Bengal.


Q23 by Rupanjan Mukherjee, Social Worker: Is there any plan to set up any integrated sports complex at Talah Park. Is there any plan to develop infrastructure along canals in north Kolkata?

KMC, as far as I know, is working on a plan to rejuvenate the canals. We will conduct a study to assess if any sports complex in Talah Park is possible.

Q24: A section of Left Front wants to fight elections with Congress. Any comments?

It is their prerogative. I have nothing to say. Some communists misused communism that led to their fall.People have rejected the CPM.

Q25: Who will be your principal Opposition in 2016 elections?

How can I say that now? Let us see whether there are alliances.

Q26: Many ministers of BJP Govt at Centre are being questioned about propriety. Any comments?

I have ideological differences with BJP. But State Govt and Centre must work together. In 2014 elections, it was the media which highlighted a particular leader of BJP.

The Centre is trying to harm the federal structure. They are unnecessarily interfering in our business. We are not supporting land bill. We support GST because it is in our Manifesto. We do not support communalism.

Q26 by Sushmita Chowdhury, Professor: Thank you Didi for Sidhu Kanhu University.We need a law college and an engineering college  in Purulia.

There were only 30 colleges in Bengal till 2011. We set up 45 new colleges in four years. We will be happy to set up engineering or law college in Purulia in PPP mode.

Q27: What is the future of Singur?

We have a commitment. But the matter is sub-judice. We are waiting for court’s order.

Q28: A lot of cases are pending in courts. Is there a remedy?

Judiciary is pillar of democracy. It is true a lot of cases are pending. We want cases to be disposed quickly.

Q29: The jute industry is facing a crisis. Is there any solution?

Jute industry is under Centre’s jurisdiction. They have stopped procurement of jute bags. We have written to the Centre regarding jute industry. Modernisation of this sector is supreme.

We started the FRBM system. We have paid Rs 76000 Cr as installments for debt by CPM. We are committed to reclaim the glory of Bengal. We have created Biswa Bangla Brand.

Q30: What is your message for 21 July this year?

We observe 21 July to pay homage to the martyrs who lost their lives to establish democracy in Bengal.We have to spread the message of development. We have to stand beside people in this journey.

Our slogan, our motto, our ideal is Maa, Mati, Manush. I coined the term “Maa, Mati, Manush” during Singur movement. Maa (Mother) is universal. Maati (soil) is karmabhoomi, janmabhoomi. Manush (people) are supreme.

I work as a commoner. I am not VIP. I am LIP (Less Important Person). It is better to stay simple. When I became Union Minister for the first time, my mother said, “Stay as you are”. I follow her.

Any last comments…

I love the concept of Janatar Darbar. I would like to conduct these sessions every month.


Janatar Darbar with Mamata Banerjee

Trinamool Congress believes in 360 degrees of communication. From posters, banners, wall-graphiti to digital media, the party uses various means of communication to interact with people.

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee believes in direct contact with the people. She has decentralised governance by conducting nearly hundred administrative review meetings at block level.

For the first time, she is going to take direct questions from the people and answer them simultaneously on television and Twitter. Watch this space as Janata Darbar of Mamata Banerjee unfolds.

Mamata Banerjee Unplugged

Mamata Banerjee – she is the Chairperson of Trinamool Congress, the Chief Minister of West Bengal. She has been featured in TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world. She is an epicentre of energy.

She is fondly called Didi by the people. Apart from her political self, there also is another Mamata Banerjee – one who loves to paint, write or play music on a tablet.

Here are some excerpts from an interview with Mamata Banerjee. Come discover the other side of Mamata…


Q: At the very outset, Didi wish you Shubho Noboborsho

MB: Subho Noboborsho to you too. I want to extend my greetings to Maa, Mati, Manush of Bengal. Noboborsho signifies the beginning of a new chapter. In the words of Tagore, “Esho esho, amar ghore esho”. I hope everyone stays healthy and safe.


Q: Is it true that you started your career as a teacher?

MB: I used to teach a few poor kids in my locality to run my family. My father had passed away when I was young. I had to pay for my education also. I loved teaching poor students who could not afford to go to schools. I have taught many students without taking any money.


Mamata Banerjee with school kids

Mamata Banerjee with school students


Q: Your life is one of struggle

MB: When my father was alive, there was no struggle. We managed well. My father was a very kind-hearted man. Whenever he got chocolates for us, he distributed the same to all kids in the locality. We have imbibed this habit from him.

I have spent all my life in Kalighat. I have grown up here. When Muktijuddho was going on, we were in school. My father used to listen to the news on the radio and tell us stories of Mukti Bahini and India’s freedom struggle. He used to tell us stories of Tagore, Nazrul, Masterda, Swami ji, Netaji.

This instilled the spirit of patriotism in me. After my father passed away, I decided to join Chhatra Parishad. We also saw the ugly side of politics in college. There was a lot of violence, we saw many people being led astray in Naxal movement.


Mamata Banerjee Hunger Strike

Mamata Banerjee on hunger strike


Q: You have a special attraction towards Birbhum, your mamabari

MB: It is not true. Entire Bengal, specially rural Bengal, enjoys a special place in my heart. I love all the districts. I have hardly stepped out of Bengal or  India. I love Bengal.

It is true that we used to spend our vacations in our mamabari. There we learnt the custom of Nabanna (spring harvest). Inspired by that I have named the Secretariat as Nabanna. Rural life was very simple.


Q: Your first political success came in 1984

MB: Chhatra Parishad unit in our college was always very proactive. We went through a lot of struggle. We were always ready for a political fight. Our struggle created an example for entire Bengal. We had dedication. We raised our own funds to run the organisation.

The plenary session of Congress was held in 1983. By that time I had taken active part in several movements against Left Front. Also, our family was always politically very aware. In the panchayat elections, I campaigned across Bengal with Subrata Da (Subrata Mukherjee).

I am a committed worker. When no one else was ready to fight against Somnath Chatterjee, and the party gave me the duty, I said yes.


Mamata Banerjee 1984

Mamata Banerjee elected to Parliament


Q: Your experience in Parliament at such an early age

MB: We came from a humble background. We had Bengali-medium education. My fear was how to speak in English. I spent a lot of time in the House and gained a lot of knowledge.

I remember a particular incident. People of Jadavpur had asked me to raise the issue of land for refugees. Half an hour discussion was going on in the Parliament. I demanded to raise the issue of giving land plots to refugees unconditionally. The Speaker asked me to submit a separate notice, which I did. That was the beginning of my stint in Parliament.


Q: The formation of Trinamool Congress in 1997

MB: I do not believe in bowing down. In 1997 when I noticed that my party leadership was just wasting time and was not eager to listen to our grievances, we decided enough is enough. We were determined to form a new party. Congress tried to prevent me from founding a new party. Even before Congress expelled me on 22 December, 1997, we submitted documents to the Election Commission.

Mamata Banerjee Nabaneer Widow

Mamata Banerjee with senior citizens during Durga Puja


Q: Emergence of the name Trinamool Congress

MB: In 1997, when the Congress convention was going on at Netaji Indoor Stadium, we organised an outdoor convention. We believed in working for grassroots people. We wanted to work for common people. That is why we chose the name Trinamool. Even the symbol represents ghasphool. The symbol was sketched by Ajit Da (Ajit Panja) and me.


Q: You spend Poila Boishakh and Durga Puja at home every year

MB:  I cannot stay anywhere else. I will always spend Poila Boishakh at home every year. Even Durga Pujo… I do not keep any engagement on such occasions. We even have Kali puja at home every year.


Mamata Banerjee kali puja

Mamata Banerjee offering prayers at Dakshineshwar


Q: Tell us about the Hazra attack in 1990

MB:  That was just a beginning. I have been through many attacks. I am committed to politics. There was an attack on us when were protesting against adulterated oil in Behala.

The government used to snoop on us. They had kept people to follow me wherever I went. They were plotting to kill us. Even Rajiv ji was aware of this and wanted me to take police protection.

There was a bandh on 16 August, 1990. My mother was apprehensive and did not want me to step out of home. I tiptoed out of the house without informing her. We took out a rally from Hazra when we were attacked by a gang of goons. I got blows on my head and started bleeding. I covered my head with my hand and saved myself.


Q: 21 July is a significant date in your political career

MB: On 21 July 1993, we had a rally to Writers’ Buildings. Thousands of people were marching with us. Police fired shots at us to disperse the crowds. I was beaten black and blue. Some CPM cadre may also have been there is uniform. They tried to kill me that day.

I can never forget the Garden Reach incident also. We went to meet a family which was the victim of CPM’s terror. They surrounded our car and pelted stones at us. They climbed the bonnet of the car and tried to assault us. Suddenly we heard gunshots. Somehow we managed to escape.


Mamata Banerjee Hazra

The Hazra attack, 1990


We had to undergo a lot of struggle. Some people who have got everything on a silver platter do not value the struggle we have undergone.  These are challenging years. Some media houses have taken up propaganda and slander. It is sad. We never cross our limits. These days they call us thieves and dacoits.

My life is one of struggle. I do not want to stop. Life means moving on. The more they attack us, the stronger our resolve will be. We have given the slogan “Bodla noy, bodol chai”. Despite the horror of 34 years of CPM rule, we did not harm their party workers. But today, people who cannot even win councillor elections are tearing our flags and playing the victim. This makes me sad as well as angry.


Q: Any regrets in life?

MB: Whatever I have achieved in life is because of the blessings of people. Since we had a humble upbringing, we have learned to be simple, we learned to respect everyone. During our childhood, we did not have any scope of education in English. But children are lucky now. I tell people there is no need to be afraid of grammar. No one speaks perfect and grammatically correct English.


Q: You have named your bag Jangalmahal

MB: (Laughs) I love Jangalmahal. It is my pride. In the bag I carry everything that I need in my daily life. I even carry medicines; once they came in handy when I cured a reputed doctor of pain in his waist (smiles).


Mamata Banerjee Jangalmahal Bag

Mamata Banerjee with her bag


Q: You can also cook well

MB: When I was in Delhi, I used to cook regularly. Not anymore. Whenever I get time, I try to cook. It is an art. I love to do housework also.


Q: Pressure tactics by other parties don’t work on you

MB: I cannot be intimidated. No one can use pressure tactics to make me do something. If you show me CBI, ED etc. I will show you the power of people. Democracy is of the people, for the people, by the people. They are my strength. I bow my head to them.


Q: At any public event, you never sit still at one place

MB: I believe in direct eye-to-eye interaction with the public. I can never read out from any paper. This is my habit. If I am standing on the left, the people on the right cannot see me, and vice versa. So I like to go around the stage. I believe in being spontaneous.


Mamata Banerjee with kids

Mamata Banerjee with kids in north Bengal


Q: You have lost weight. You hardly eat and survive only on tea. You also walk a lot…

MB: (Smiles) I walk on the treadmill for 8 KM in the morning. I love to walk. It has become my habit. I love to eat muri and fish at night. I do not eat junk food.


Q: Your idols in life:

MB: It is a huge list that includes Rabindranath, Nazrul, Netaji, Masterda, Swami ji, Ramakrishna, other dharma gurus… Who do I name and who do I leave out?


Q: You also love music…

MB: Yes, I love music. I listen to music whenever I am travelling. It is my life. It is an inspiration. It rejuvenates my mind. I listen to all genres of music. My father had a lot of LP records; I imbibed my love for music from him.

Sometimes I play music on the tablet when I have time. I also check Twitter, Facebook whenever I get time. I do not watch any news channels. I derive information on what is happening around the world from these social media channels.


Mamata Banerjee nature

Mamata Banerjee capturing a slice of nature

Q: You are a great writer. Please read a few lines of your poem for us

MB: Here are a few lines from my favourite poem Mati:

Mati amar moner fosol

Mati amar bhor

Mati moder matribhumi

Mati moder jor.

E mati moder Lokkhir panchali

E mati Saraswati

E mati sobar, tomar-amar

E mati bhobisyoter goti.

Mamata Banerjee joins Twitter

Updated at 13:05 hours on 02.01.2015

Trinamool Congress Chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee joined twitter on January 1, 2015 which is also the Foundation Day of All India Trinamool Congress.

Within twenty four hours of joining this widely popular social networking site, she notched up more than six thousand followers.

Her twitter handle is: @MamataOfficial

The Trinamool Chairperson already has one million (Ten lakh) likes on Facebook.

Her very first tweet read:

She also retweeted one of the tweets made by a follower:

Trinamool was one of the early movers on social media in 2008 and has a strong presence in the digital medium. Other Trinamool MPs are also very active on Facebook and Twitter. Abhishek Banerjee has more than 170 thousand likes on Facebook. Suvendu Adhikari has around fifty thousand likes while Derek O’Brien has 3 lakh 50 thousand followers on Twitter.

West Bengal Chief Minister inaugurates a slew of projects at Kharagpur

West Bengal Chief Minister addressed a public meeting held at Kharagpur College Ground.

The Chief Minister inaugurated an array of developmental projects for the Jangalmahal area, which include dialysis unit in Jhargram district Hospital, Krishak Bazaars, hostels for male and female students, pipelined drinking water supply projects, police stations and other such services.

The Chief Minister also laid the foundation stones for a number of projects like skill development centers, animal husbandry department offices, hostel for students belonging SC and ST and center for training forces against terrorist activities among other projects.

The Chief Minister also distributed an array of benefits like Kanyashree, Sikhshashree, Anandadhara, Artisans Credit card and Identity Card, farm machinery, machinery for other different trades and other such grants to the people of Jangalmahal.

The Chief Minister held an administrative meeting with the district officials.

Assam Relief

Refugees from Assam are victims of circumstances, we will stand beside them: WB CM

Describing refugees from Assam as guests, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said her government would stand beside them.

“They are more than our guests, our own people. They don’t have shelter now. We all know their mental condition. They are the victim of circumstances, so let us all stand beside them,” the Chief Minister said at Changmari refugee camp in Alipurduar district. She also made an appeal to local people to help the refugees in whatever way possible and asked officials to ensure that no one was inconvenienced.

When asked by reporters whether the refugees do not want to return to their homes, she said, “They will decide. If they do not want it is their decision. If anyone wants to return, we’ll make all the arrangements. They are our own people. More than guests. We have to take care of everything including their food. We want them to stay in peace.”

On central government’s role in controlling violence, she said, “I do not want to make any political comment here. I do not get into politics all the time. I have come here on humanitarian grounds”.

Hit by violence carried out by militants, refugees from Assam have taken shelter in four camps at Kumargram and Cooch Behar. From her own savings, the Chief Minister bought one thousand pieces of winter clothing which she distributed among the refugees. During her visit, she took stock of the arrangements at the relief camp and instructed officials to arrange all meals on time.

The CM was accompanied by North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb, district magistrate and other officials during the visit.

WB CM Didi

Religious conversion is a mental pollution: WB CM

Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday hit out at the Centre for choosing Christmas to observe Good Governance Day, saying she “strongly disagreed” with the idea. The ‘ghar wapsi’ campaign also came under sharp criticism at a St Xavier’s College programme.

After wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, WB CM said, “Our country is vast but secular. Why should there be a religious divide? Would anybody like to go to work on Ashtami during Durga Puja? Christmas is a festival of joy, peace and humanity.”

“I strongly disagree when someone says Christmas should be observed as Good Governance Day. This is not right. When I am in the chair I cannot discriminate on the basis of religion, caste or creed. Our unity is our strength,” she added.

Everyday is Good Governance Day, said the Chief Minister. She also said that religious conversion is not a solution, it is a mental pollution.