I shall strive every day for our dream India: Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee participated today in the Independence Day celebrations on Red Road in Kolkata. She even got down from the stage to shake a leg with Adivasi dancers, who were among the participants.

Earlier, she had tweeted on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of independence.

“On the completion of 75 years of Independence, India must awaken to the real essence of Independence. We must stay true to the vision of our forefathers and keep the aspirations of our future generations at heart. My heartfelt greetings to all my fellow citizens. Jai Hind!

75 years of Independence! Today, we pay homage to the supreme sacrifices of our forefathers that led to our country’s independence. We, the people of India, must preserve their sacred legacy and uphold the dignity of our democratic values and people’s rights.

I have a dream for India! For the people, I want to build a nation where no one goes hungry, where no woman feels unsafe, where every child sees the light of education, where all are treated equally, where no oppressive forces divide the people & harmony defines the day.

It is my promise to the people of this great nation that I shall strive everyday for our dream India. My fellow Indians, what is your dream for India? #MyIdeaForIndiaAt75

For us, INDIA means UNITY: Mamata Banerjee

On the eve of the 75th anniversary of Independence Day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee changed her display picture on Twitter. The picture shows some of the most famous freedom fighters of the country along with a stylised national flag. There are Mahatma Gandhi, Rishi Aurobindo, Raja Ram Mohun Roy, Bhagat Singh, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and others.

She tweeted the following:

INDIA… Where diversity THRIVES despite differences.
INDIA… Where people of varied cultures and religions peacefully COEXIST.
INDIA… Where democratic values and people’s rights are UPHELD.
Yes, this is our INDIA!

Aren’t we all the proud people of this beautifully diverse land?
For us, INDIA means UNITY.
But, our ideas vary.
What then, my fellow Indians, is your idea for this great nation?

Md Nadimul Haque asks a Question on losses faced by e-commerce companies due to internet shutdowns


Will the Minister of COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY be pleased to state:

(a) whether e-Commerce companies have seen economic losses due to internet shutdown in different parts of the country;

(b) whether Government has estimated the same and if so, the details thereof; and

(c) if not, whether Government plans to estimate the impact of internet shutdowns on e-Commerce companies?


Sir, over 150 days of internet shut down in the State of Jammu & Kashmir has led to many businesses and start-ups, especially in IT and E-commerce, to shut down or leave for better opportunities. Young entrepreneurs have been discouraged from starting online businesses. Sir, my question is, when will the Government take actual steps and not totalistic measures to address this serious crisis?


The order for internet shut down is rarely open to the public. It has been reported that only secretary-level officers can issue such orders like internet shut down, even DMs can also order, Sir.

So my question is, how has the Government allowed internet shut down to be imposed so easily, especially when the repercussions are not just on an area but across whole of India?


Modi Govt following ‘divide and rule’ policy: Didi

Bangla Chief Minister and Trinamool Chairperson, Mamata Banerjee, speaks about her views on CAA, NRC, NPR, the situation in Kashmir and the misinformation campaign by BJP.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

Q: The Prime Minister recently visited Belur Math where he said that the Opposition was misleading people on CAA

Didi: The Prime Minister went to Belur Math on a personal visit. We have great regard for Ramakrishna Mission. We have never seen anyone use the stage for political speeches. I am thankful to the monks of Ramakrishna Mission for protesting against it.

Instead of paying respect to Swami Vivekananda ji, he did a mischievous thing – he did political propaganda. We don’t agree with his political vision. He wants to fulfill his political agenda. We don’t agree with that. In parliamentary committee, we opposed this from the beginning.

Everyone with documents like the voter ID card, PAN card, Aadhaar card, passport etc are citizens of the country. If the Opposition is misleading the people, why are people protesting in BJP-ruled States? Why are States like Assam against NRC? We support their protests. Actually, BJP is misleading the people.

They are following a divide-and-rule policy through CAA. It depends on their choice. They are in power. They must ensure ‘roti-kapda-makaan’ and not promote politics of hate. This policy is being criticised worldwide. We love our country and he is dividing the country.

The country’s economy is a disaster now. Prices are skyrocketing, unemployment is rising, industries are shutting down. Walmart is closing down their chapter in India. Instead of giving attention to these problems, they are trying to discriminate (among people).

Swami Vivekananda never said divide the country. He worked for the downtrodden people. He said unity is strength and weakness is death. Divide and rule is BJP’s manifesto, their agenda and they want everyone to follow them. This will destroy the secular fabric of the country.

Q: So, you are opposing CAA, NRC, NPR

Didi: At first we thought NPR is related to census. But now we know it is connected to NRC. There is no convention or provision that discriminates among refugees. India is a vast country, with so many languages, cultures. There are even different dialects in Bengali in every district. Even if we do not understand their language, we respect and love them. That’s the beauty of our country.

Q: So, you are saying refugees must not be discriminated against

Didi: It is not a matter of refugees. People will have to surrender their citizenship for five years. Everything will be lost. There are many discrepancies. Why have they not included Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka? It is our neighbouring country.

Q: So, you are saying NRC is anti-Bengali

Didi: Obviously it is anti-Bengali. But most importantly, it is anti-India. You can see how Bengali migrant workers are being treated in other States. Some of them were brutally murdered in Kashmir. So many migrants work in Bengal. We do not discriminate among them. How can you divide them like this?

Q: Centre claims there is normalcy in Kashmir

Didi: Kashmir is our heart. We love Kashmir. If the situation is normal, why are so many leaders under house arrest for such a long time? Why is there internet shutdown? People are suffering. Problems can be solved by taking people into confidence. But if you bulldoze your views on others, there will be issues.

Words and vision are the credibility of a politician. Your character is your credibility. Your character is your credential.

Kashmiris should have been taken into confidence. Why were political parties not called for a meeting? I want to visit Kashmir and visit Farooq (Abdullah) Ji, Mehbooba (Mufti), Omar (Abdullah). I don’t want to go as a Chief Minister but as an individual, as the Chairperson of All India Trinamool Congress. Foreign dignitaries are welcome (in Kashmir) but Indians cannot go. That is the problem. I want to go and see how Kashmiri brothers and sisters are.

Our party’s delegation is not allowed in Assam, Lucknow, Kashmir. This is the condition.

Q: Political dynamics has changed. Trinamool, DMK, Shiv Sena, SP, BSP didn’t attend the meeting (in New Delhi). The message is loud and clear – regional parties want to play on their own terms

Didi: Regional parties are feeling isolated. Why local leaders in Tamil Nadu are blaming Stalin? Shiv Sena is in a government with them, but they are also feeling isolated. Same with Arvind Kejriwal. Only meetings won’t help. This is a public movement. Let everyone carry on the protests in their own way.

We are all together.

Q: Do you mean the Congress is unreliable?

Didi: I don’t have any comments. Words are silver and silence is golden

Q: BJP accuses Trinamool of appeasement politics. In 2005, you raised your voice against illegal immigration but now you have changed your stand

Didi: BJP is misinforming, misleading, disinforming the people. My protest was ‘No ID card, no vote’. Only that can prove the genuineness of voters. Why would one name appear in 50 places? Names of genuine voters were missing. I was fighting for voting rights of genuine voters. For this movement, 13 youth workers were killed in firing by the Left Front Government. Why was I not allowed to speak in the Parliament? What BJP is saying is fabricated. Our movement started in 1991.

Statewide protest for JEE in Bangla: Didi

A meeting of the expanded working committee of Trinamool Congress took place at Trinamool Bhavan today. Various issues were discussed. After that, the party Chairperson spoke to the Press:

She said that the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case was expected next week, and she hoped that there would be no untoward incidents. The unity of the country must not be affected.

About holding the national-level Joint Entrance Examination in Bengali, she said that it was a just demand as many students across the country would benefit. There is no problem with holding the examination in Gujrati, she said, but the benefit of writing the examination in a student’s regional language must be given to all students.

On the above issue, the party would hold protest marches across all blocks on November 11 from 2pm to 3pm. Trinamool Yuva Congress would participate too. She said other parties would be invited to join the movement.

In the context of education, she said that the BJP has been changing a lot of things. Even National Education Day would be celebrated after a leader of their choice, rather than the educationist Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

Trinamool would continue to make people aware about the various issues regarding the NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) as the party does not want the secular fabric of the country to be torn. Trinamool does not support the NRC.

She said that sometimes it is being said that refugees from Bangladesh would be given citizenship through CAB. But according to the pact between Indira Gandhi and Mujibur Rahman, they are already citizens and have all the necessary documents for that purpose.

She extended her best wishes to all for various festivals. November 10 is Nabi Dibas and November 12 is the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. She will participate in the programme organised by the Sikh community at the Maidan on November 11 and will visit a gurdwara in Siliguri on November 12.

On November 13, she will visit the Ras Mela in Cooch Behar. There is a meeting with Trinamool workers the next day. She will return to Kolkata on the 15th. From November 18 to 20, there are party programmes in Malda, Murshidabad and Dakshin Dinajpur districts. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister is coming to Kolkata on November 22 to watch the cricket match at Eden Gardens. Mamata Banerjee will be there too.

C40 World Mayors Summit applauds Bangla’s innovative Sabujshree Scheme

The Bangla Government has created another milestone with the Sabujshree Scheme, the latter having received an overwhelming response at the recently-held C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The mayor of Kolkata (also the State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister) had gone to Copenhagen to accept the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Award for the city’s environment-friendly electric public transportation project.

Sabujshree aims at planting a sapling with the birth of every child in the State. Under Sabujshree, a sapling is given to the mother of every child born in a government hospital anywhere in the State.

The saplings given to the mothers are usually of commercially viable trees like mahogany or sal. The parents are requested to nurture the tree like their own children. When the child becomes an adult, the parents are allowed to sell the tree and spend the money on the child’s education.

It is this aspect of the scheme that received widespread recognition at the conference. Mayors of several cities showed interest in how trees can become an asset to a family.

The scheme is the brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and was introduced in 2016.

Source: Millennium Post


Durga Pujo Carnival to highlight the best of Durga Pujo

The Durga Pujo Carnival today is all set to be the biggest held till date, with more than 25,000 people expected to be in attendance and several lakhs to connect digitally. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose brainchild this carnival is, will be the chief guest at the event to be held on Red Road.

‘Ranga Matir Bangla’ is the theme this year. The famous art form of terracotta, pottery and other items made out of burnt clay, of Bishnupur and other places in Bankura district will be highlighted at this year’s carnival.

More than 70 Pujo committees – those which are the best in Kolkata as well as in the districts, including those that won the Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman – will take part in the carnival.

The event is being held for the fourth consecutive time and will highlight Bangla’s traditional folk culture. The show has strengthened Bangla’s position in the world’s tourism map.

The programme will start at 4pm, led by the Kolkata Police’s Tornado unit – a motorcycle-borne squad of police personnel that performs stunts on the bikes. This will be followed by traditional dhunuchi dance and then chhau dance (indigenous to Purulia district), accompanied by dhaak rolls. After these, the main attraction of the carnival will take place – the parade of idols decked in all their finery on board trailers.

Last year, more than 2,500 foreign delegates and tourists had attended This year too several foreign delegates and members of the consular corps have been invited, according to a senior government official of the Information & Cultural Affairs Department, which is responsible for making the arrangements

Needless to say, security arrangements will also be tight. Watch towers, quick response teams of Kolkata Police, thousands of police personnel and personnel of the disaster management group will be on guard.


Didi starts inaugurating Durga Pujos

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee started inaugurating Durga Pujos of Kolkata from yesterday. She started with Hatibagan Sarbajanin, followed by Chaltabagan Lohapatty and Hindustan Club, the last one being in south Kolkata.

Since yesterday was the start of Debipaksha, she did not light lamps during the inaugurations but instead placed flowers at the foot of the Goddess in an innovative approach this year.

Every year after becoming chief minister, Mamata Banerjee has made it a point to inaugurate Durga Pujos across the city. The requests for her to do so from pujo committees are never-ending, and she tries her best to launch as many pujos as possible.


Centre must not divest profit-making PSUs, merge banks: Didi

The Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress organised a meeting of its members at the Netaji Indoor Stadium today. Trinamool Congress Chairperson Mamata Banerjee addressed the attending members.

Highlights of her speech:

Sometimes we have to come together to fight. We many not always get the results we want, but we have to try anyway.

In 2012, 6 Trinamool ministers had left the Manmohan Singh Government in protest against its decision to implement 100% FDI in retail because we believe the cause of the people is more important than holding on to ministries.

Plans are being made to close down Bengal Chemicals; 42 PSUs are being divested; banks are being amalgamated and their headquarters moved elsewhere. Due to this, many bank workers would lose their jobs. Nobody is sure these days of the state of their jobs and of the value of money in the future.

The post offices have no work other than distributing letters about the Central Government’s achievements. Their work is getting reduced.

Even after demonetisation, bank officials worked their hearts out. So what happened to all the money collected? Nobody knows.

After making the banks do its bidding, is this how the Central Government will treat them? The whole banking sector is in a mess.

The armed forces are the best means for protecting the country. Instead of protecting, they are being used to threaten people. People are in the dark about many things. The Centre also wants to privatise the ordnance factories.

Coal is the pride of Bangla; if Coal India is divested 100 per cent, electricity production will be hit hard.

We fear that the Indian Railways, the largest public sector undertaking in the world, will be fully privatised in the coming days.

A conspiracy is being hatched to divest a profitable company like Air India.

It is the duty of the Government to be beside the people in times of hardship. Nobody is paying heed to the people’s problems nowadays.

The television and print media, which have the power to take up the issues being faced by the people, have become deaf and dumb; they are just parroting the Centre’s instructions.

The Centre is trying to incite the people and spreading hatred, just to improve its TRP. And those who love the people are constantly working for their benefits.

SAIL, Hindustan Paper, Chittaranjan Locomotives, Life Insurance Corporation, Haldia Port, Kolkata Port, BSNL are all being planned to be privatised. Things are in a terrible mess.

People have lost their right to speak. That’s why there is a need for them to come together to speak up. Social media platforms should be used to mount protests. People need to think differently in order to launch protests because there is great value in it.

Democracy is our asset. There is democracy in Bangla but many States are suffering for the lack of it.

You saw from the Jadavpur University incident what their attitude is. You cannot use force to keep people in the dark forever.

The people of Asansol and Durgapur voted wholesale for the BJP, yet now the Centre is planning to privatise Chittaranjan Locomotives, ECL, BSNL.

On the part of the State Government, we merged only those companies which were running at a loss. We didn’t take away people’s jobs.

Politics and love for the people of the country are not one and the same in most cases now. One should work for the people once elected, whatever their political affiliations.

Continue your fight the way you are doing it. The hunger strike has been going on for 25 days. There are ordnance factories and banks in other States too but the people are afraid to protest.

Since others are not protesting, it is the people of Bangla who will speak up for the people. Bangla will show the way.

If our fight helps people in other States, we will be happy because we want to progress taking everyone along.

There are three protest programmes before Durga Pujo. I am creating a core group that will coordinate all the protests and meetings, and will also take up the issues in Parliament. The members are Subrata Bakshi, Dola Sen, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Saugata Roy, Derek O’Brien, Subrata Mukherjee, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, Partha Chatterjee, Pradip da, Malay Ghatak and Purnendu Bose.

She announced the following protest programmes:

Sep 26: Protest meeting in front of Gun & Shell Factory, Cossipore
Sep 27: Protest meeting in front of Coal India headquarters at 1pm
Oct 18: Protest march from Sealdah to Fairlie Place via Esplanade from 1.30pm
48-hour dharna in New Delhi
Post-Oct 18: Protest meetings in Chennai, Mumbai, Bihar and other places across the country

NRC is nothing to be afraid of; it won’t happen, assures Didi

I am requesting you to enlist your names in the electoral rolls so that you are able to vote. There will be no NRC anywhere.

Some people are wrongly bringing a communal angle to NRC, and saying that it is meant to divide Hindus and Muslims. Yet despite that the NRC in Assam has excluded 13 lakh Hindus.

Do not fear NRC. Some TV channels are spreading false news. Don’t watch those channels.

There will be a protest against in the NRC in those places where people have died in fear of it.

We have to fight this battle together. My Pujo greetings to all.


Set up task force to detect & take action against tax evasion: Dr Amit Mitra to Union Fin MIn

Flagging concerns regarding many instances of frauds under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, Bangla Finance Minister Dr Amit Mitra has written a letter to the Union Finance Minister asking for the setting up of task force having both State and Central officers to detect all cases of tax evasion and take action against racketeers for recovery of evaded tax.

The letter, dated Tuesday, says that Union Government data presented in the Rajya Sabha last month showed that 9,385 cases of tax fraud involving an amount of Rs 45,682.83 crore has been detected by authorities under the GST regime since its rollout on July 1, 2017.

Even this amount, stated Dr Mitra, is “understated” since it does not include complete data of frauds under SGST, which, if compiled for all States, may show tax evasion of over Rs 1 lakh crore.

In view of this huge loss of tax revenue, the State Finance Minister has requested for the topic of GST fraud and its impact on overall GST collections to be discussed in-depth in the upcoming GST Council meeting.

Dr Mitra has also asked for the compilation of a list of all cancelled GSTINs with PAN, email addresses and other details, to be shared with all officers so that the same fraud is not investigated by multiple agencies.

Another aspect of GST mentioned in the letter is that the new return system with invoice matching needed to be put in place in October (for large taxpayers) and in January (for all taxpayers) “without fail”.

It needs to be mentioned here that the issue of tax evasion had also been broached by Dr Mitra in his letter to the Union Finance Minister on July 1. Among other issues, he had stated that “for want of inbuilt system-based matching, hawala billing and fake trade has grown in leaps and bounds and the realization of tax has suffered.”

Source: The India Express