West Bengal worst-governed state: Chidambaram

Last Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 13:06

Kolkata: Ahead of the crucial third phase
of Assembly polls, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said that
West Bengal was the "worst-governed" state in the country and
blamed the CPI-M and its cadres for spreading violence and
turning the state into a "killing field".

He also said that the state’s finances were in a
"precarious" condition.

"For too long we had a government that had neglected
governance. West Bengal is the worst-governed state in the
country and our immediate concern is law and order," he told
reporters here.

Chidambarm, who was here to campaign for the
Congress-Trinamool Congress combine, said, "For the last two
to four months I have been bringing to the notice of Chief
Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his colleagues that law
and order is deteriorating."

However, the Chief Minister was in a state of denial
and the `bubble` burst when Netai (where nine people were
killed) occurred, he said.

"I squarely blame the CPI-M and its cadres for
procuring arms and spreading violence and turning the state
into a killing field," he said.

Chidamabaram said, "I sincerely hope that after the
change of government, the Centre and the state government will
work together to stop the killings."

Seventy-five constituencies will go to polls on
Wednesday in the state in the third phase of Assembly Election
which is crucial for the Congress-Trinamool alliance.

Chidambaram said that since 2004 revenues of all
states had increased and no state had to resort to overdraft
for the last four to five years, the only exception being West
Bengal.

Describing the state`s cash position as "precarious",
Chidambaram said that during 2010-11, West Bengal had taken
overdraft on seven occasions and during 2011-12 it has already
taken one.

"It is one of the debt-stressed states where the tax-GDP
ratio is the lowest among general category states.``

The state has a borrowing ceiling, but it continues to
borrow in excess of that limit as "it has been allowed to do
so".

Chidambaram said that in April, Bengal had gone for
open-market borrowings for an amount of Rs 3,173 crore and
described the revenue deficit as "worrisome" and interest
payments "high".

"The present government cannot improve upon that, but
will make it only worse. Only a new government with new energy
and new thinking will help the state turn around. I look
forward to a new government coming in Bengal and assume office
in a month`s time. I have come here to offer my advance
congratulation to the people of the state to bring about a
change," he said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 13:06

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