Left, Cong say Mamata`s advisory committee is mere rehab

The opposition Left Front and Congress said the formation of an advisory committee was a mere `rehabilitation package`.

Updated: Oct 06, 2012, 10:51 AM IST

Kolkata: The opposition Left Front and Congress Friday expressed doubts over how West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s proposal of forming an advisory committee comprising former union ministers from the party would work. They said the formation of the committee was a mere `rehabilitation package`.

"I don`t know whether this is an advisory committee or a rehabilitation package, offered out of fear that these former ministers might switch parties as they were forced to resign," opposition leader Surya Kanta Mishra said.

The seven-member advisory committee on economic and social development includes former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, who was sacked by Trinamool Congress supremo Banerjee for hiking train fares.

The decision comes days after railway minister Mukul Roy along with five union ministers of state - Sultan Ahmed (tourism), Saugato Roy (urban development), Sudip Bandopadhaya (health), CM Jatua (information and broadcasting) and Sisir Adhikari (rural development) - resigned from the union government after the Trinamool Congress withdrew from the UPA government at the centre over FDI in retail and the diesel price hike.

"The state government is saying that it doesn`t have enough money to pay bonus to the state transport workers. But they are forming committees, which means more pressure on the state exchequer," Mishra said.

According to sources in the chief minister`s office, Mukul Roy will look into state transport, Saugato Roy will look into industry and information technology, Adhikari will oversee village panchayats, Jatua will look after development of the Sunderbans, Bandopadhyay will look into urban development and Ahmed will look after minority development.

"Since Mamata Banerjee`s tenure as railway minister, the state has seen a plethora of committees but hardly any of these committees has done something good. Actually it is a kind of compensation to those ministers who were forced to resign," said Omprakash Mishra, state Congress leader.