Mamata insists on Bengal`s own Land Acquisition policy

Confident of coming to power in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday assured people to accord priority on setting up a land bank and formulating a separate land acquisition policy.

Kolkata: Confident of coming to power in
West Bengal, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday
assured people to accord priority on setting up a land bank
and formulating a separate land acquisition policy of the
state till a national policy was framed replacing the existing
Land Acquisition Act.

"We must set up a land bank and land acquisition
policy of the state`s own until a national policy is framed
replacing the existing Land Acquisition Act," Banerjee said in
an interview to a local TV channel.

Speaking against forceful acquisition of land,
Banerjee said the Left Front government had failed to
formulate its own land policy, unlike many other states.

"The existing Land Acquisition Act is draconian. We
have to wait till a new legislation comes replacing the
existing one," she said.

Besides land bank, Banerjee was also confident of
setting up employment bank to create opportunities for
the unemployed youth.

"For me agriculture is an inspiration and industry is
a thrust with both dependent on each other," Banerjee said.

To a question about a large number of political
prisoners in the state, Banerjee said she would review each
and every case and take the help of Human Rights
organisations, if required, to initiate right steps on this

Asserting the state should progress in every sphere,
Banerjee said that a `knowledge mission` in Bengal is most
essential for the development of the state, which have lost
its growth momentum during LF regime.

Underscoring more power and prestige for the
minorities, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and refugees,
Banerjee was confident of building a developed state with the
participation of a cross section of people.

Though she nominated a sizable number of women as
candidates for the upcoming Assembly poll in the state,
Banerjee described herself as "neutral" and "not a feminist".
"I am not a feminist, I am neutral", she said.

Setting aside the ruling party slogan for "improved
Left Front", she referred to LF government`s "moribund
financial condition."

Once in power, her government would first identify how
funds of over two lakh crore were misused and the state turned
into a bankrupt one, the Trinamool chief said.

"We will then take our own decision to make a
turnaround in state`s economy," she said, adding "discipline
and work culture has to be restored for a true environment for

Banerjee alleged that CPI(M) and BJP have entered into
a secret deal in a bid to defeat her candidates.

"They (CPI(M) and BJP) have identified 18
constituencies including those in the border district of North
24 Paraganas in a bid to defeat the Trinamool," she said.

"As part of the understanding, BJP will campaign that
they are the champions of Hindutva in a bid to woo the
Hindus," she said.

Turning her guns on the Marxists, she said Karl Marx
used to champion the cause of the have-nots. But the CPI(M)
here have been torturing the have-nots.

She claimed the CPIM has been able to cling to power
by resorting to `scientific rigging` in previous assembly
polls, but this time they would not succeed.

Banerjee said the fact that a majority of CPI(M) MLAs
did not opt to contest this time was an expression of
no-confidence to the party in power before the elections.

The TC chief said those who did not want change, would
vote for the Left. "But no vote should be wasted."

On the rebel Congress leaders threatening to contest
as Independents, she said, "They are the like cuckoos who
appear in spring and contest as independents when elections
come just to help CPI(M)."

Banerjee entered into a seat-sharing deal with
Congress on her terms, leaving Congress 65 seats out of the
total 294 to Congress. But the release of the list of Congress
candidates by the party high command in Delhi yesterday
sparked dissent in the state Congress.

Shankar Singh, Congress district president of Nadia,
has threatened to put up candidates in all 17 seats in the
district against TC candidates while Congress MP and
Murshidabad district chief Adhir Chowdhury said he would not
campaign for TC candidates.