New Delhi: The CPI-M on Thursday quoted official data to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claims that West Bengal suffered economically during 34 years of Left Front rule.
An editorial in the CPI-M journal "People's Democracy" also credited Modi's anti-Left remarks in parliament to "the congenital anti-Communist predilections of the RSS", the ideological parent of his BJP.
In his reply to the debate on the president's address to parliament, Modi attacked the opposition, mainly the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Left Front government in West Bengal it led from 1977 to 2011.
Contrary to Modi's claims that West Bengal's now ruling Trinamool Congress inherited a legacy of economic destruction after 34 years of Left rule, the editorial said that the opposite was the reality.
It quoted the latest National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) to say that in the last years of Left rule, West Bengal rose to the fourth position in the country in terms of industrialization.
"The great `Gujarat model' was ranked a distant seventh," it said.
In terms of large and medium industries, between 1991 and 2000, 2,531 new industrial units began production with a materialized investment of Rs 65,686 crore.
"This generated a direct employment of 2.98 lakhs and twice as much in indirect employment."
The journal quoted official figures to say that the medium and small enterprises (MSEs), the backbone of industry, saw the largest expansion in West Bengal under Left Front rule.
"Between 2005 and 2011, according to the NSSO, more than 40 percent of the new manufacturing jobs created in India were generated under the Left Front rule in West Bengal alone.
"Out of the 58.7 lakh manufacturing jobs created all over India, during this period 24 lakh were in West Bengal while the `Gujarat model' delivered only 14.9 lakh.
"In 2007-08, despite the belligerent anti-industrial campaign led by the Trinamool Congress, West Bengal ... achieved a 12 percent industrial growth, the highest in the country."
The editorial said that the during the 34 year of Left government in West Bengal, it became a state ranking first in terms of rice production and vegetable production among all states in the country.
The editorial added: "The subsequent (post-Left) destruction of the state's economy is there for all to see today."
Said the CPI-M journal: "Clearly, Modi, by mounting a campaign of disinformation against the Left, reflecting the congenital anti-Communist predilections of the RSS."
This was done, it said, to appease the Trinamool Congress whose support was vital for the Modi government to legislate "anti-people, pro-foreign and domestic Indian capital economic reforms in the Rajya Sabha".