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Mamata blames media, Opposition for negating industrial feats

Mamata Banerjee blamed the opposition and a section of the media for negating industrial growth during the 21 months of Trinamool Congress rule.

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed the opposition and a section of the media today for negating industrial growth during the 21 months of Trinamool Congress rule in the state.

"Who said we are not for big industry? It is only a section of the media who are running a false propaganda to pursue their selfish interests", she said at the second edition of industry meet `Bengal Leads` at Haldia.

Lambasting the opposition, she said it is only busy with strikes and roadblocks.

"Show me one state in the country which has an opposition like this. Some TV channels don`t do constructive work but only talk negative," she said.

Banerjee said one section of the media is comparing Bengal with Gujarat. "I am happy for that as Gujarat is a lovable state but the two states are not comparable."

While Gujarat has 17 ports, Bengal has only two which had not been properly dredged by the Centre.

Besides, the population density in Bengal was higher than Gujarat, which also has 1.5 per cent more land.

"On the top of that, there is no road blockade and political obstruction by the opposition in Gujarat unlike in Bengal", she said adding there is no politics in that state except during the time of elections.

"Bengal is finished by a single party (CPI-M) rule for 34 years. The state is having a legacy of a huge debt burden for which the government is not being able to dole out any concessions to the industry."

The state, she said, is in a `serious financial mess`. "I have met the Prime Minister 10 times after coming to power seeking for a moratorium on debt repayment. But nothing has happened so far", she said.

"I will hold another industrial meet on February 13 in Mumbai and after that we will seek an appointment with the Prime Minister", the chief minister said.

Banerjee claimed when she last held the railway
portfolio, six big ticket railway projects were brought to the state, in addition to expansion of SAIL`s Kulti works and a NTPC plant at Adra.

Recently, SAIL had announced a big investment plan at Durgapur, she said.

The Centre, she said, has moral responsibility to help states in severe crisis.

"When the Gujarat earthquake took place during the NDA regime, I as Railway Minister was instructed by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to construct a railway line to help reach relief materials to the victims.

"I took only 12 hours to build the railway line to Bhuj to transport the relief materials, she said adding it showed the moral responsibility of the Centre.

West Bengal though low on finances, the growth of the state domestic product surpassed the GDP growth in the two quarters of 2012-13.

She also claimed that number of mandays lost had also come down dramatically during the Trinamool Congress regime from 68 lakh in 2010-11 to 5000 till the third quarter of 2012-13.

"I am a very positive person. I am very optimistic," Banerjee said trying to hard sell the state before a select group of audience.

The notable absentees were ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar, Ambuja Realty chairman Harsh Neotia, ASSOCHAM vice-president Sunil Kanoria and JSW Bengal Steel chairman Sajjan Jindal.

West Bengal Infrastructure Development Corporation and West Bengal Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation handed over land allotment letters to 12 enterprises to set up unit in different industrial parks of the state.