Kolkata: The CPI(M)-led Left Front is
committed to keeping its election pledge of providing rice at
Rs two per kg for the families having a monthly income of less
than Rs 10,000, Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee said
"We will make available rice at Rs two per kg to those
families earning less than Rs 10,000 per month," the chief
minister told a press conference at the CPI-M headquarters
here, reiterating the promises made at the Left Front
manifesto in this regard.
He said that APL or BPL criteria would not be applicable
and all those families earning Rs 10,000 per month would be
entitled to get rice at Rs two per kg from ration shops.
"Sugar will also be given through ration shops," he
said. Ridiculing the Opposition`s call for `change`, the chief
minister said, "Should they want a change in land reforms
which gave 84 per cent land to land-losers under the Left
Front regime, or change in industrialisation or still change
in the midday meal scheme?"
"Do they want a change like the way the Railways has
brought about?" Bhattacharjee said, apparently pointing a
finger at the performance of Mamata Banerjee as Railway
"People are watching how the Railways is functioning. The
six Trinamool Congress ministers of state at the Centre are
simply loitering around and are like non-performing assets
in closed factories," he said.
He claimed that people who voted against the Left Front
were returning to it. "We want a change too and that is the
change for the better."
Asked if he was taking the onus upon himself for the
mistakes committed by his government in the acquisiton of
farmland for industry and the high-handedness of a section
CPI-M leaders, the chief minister said, "When there is a
criticism, I cannot be left out because I have a role in
He said there was some confusion in the acquisition of
land because of some policy loopholes which, he pointed out,
had later been corrected.
"We are also criticised for doing nothing for the
minorities. But now we have taken steps for their upliftment
like reservation of jobs for poor Muslims."
Admitting to undue interference by a section of party
leaders in civil society`s day-to-day affairs, he said,
"Ours is a big party. Mistakes by some cause harm to the
party. We have asked party workers and leaders to admit the
mistakes and show respect to the people."
Interference in civil society`s affairs would not be
tolerated and party leaders have been told to abstain from
high-handed and domineering attitude, Bhattacharjee added.