Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said there was need for reforms in the police and the state government was going ahead in this direction despite financial constraints.
"There is need for police reforms to meet growing needs of the force. Steps are being taken despite financial constraints of our government," Banerjee said at the investiture ceremony of the Kolkata Police.
Alleging the erstwhile Left Front government did not upgrade or modernise the police force, Banerjee said, her government was trying to rectify it and do the best the present situation demanded.
"Police modernisation and upgradation of training and infrastructure was not done as required by the LF government, while funds allocated were spent for other purposes," she claimed.
Stating that it would take at least 15 years to rectify the damage done by the LF government in 35 years, the chief minister, hinting at the financial constraints of her regime, said "Had this government been auctioned, there would be no taker."
She said criticising the police on all occasions was not right. "There could be some lapses, but the force is engaged in good work which require proper appreciation to boost their moral."
Giving an example, she said police should not be blamed always for stray incidents at soccer grounds or stadiums as the situation was dependent on many factors.
She, however, admitted the police committed a mistake at Tehatta, while steps had been taken by her government on the issue.
Stating the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Police was widened and the number of police stations increased to meet the growing demand, Banerjee said "We also need to solve the manpower constraints and train the force with modern arms and infrastructure to counter modern crime."
Taking a dig at her critics, Banerjee said despite the acute financial problem and huge debt burden, her government had achieved 6.94 per cent GDP against the national average at 5.5 percent.
Tax collection in the state also increased by 35 per cent during the period, she said.
Criticising the opposition, the chief minister said that despite many achievements by her government within a short span, there was propaganda intended to malign her image.
"The people will not believe this," she added.