Industrialists afraid to come to Bengal under Mamata Banerjee dispensation: Union minister

02:05 PM May 19, 2024 | PTI |

Maintaining that investors were “afraid” to come to West Bengal, Union minister Subhas Sarkar claimed that businesses will stay away from the state as long as the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government is in power.


Sarkar said the TMC’s land acquisition policy and allegations of “across-the-board corruption” were to blame for the poor job situation in Bengal.

”Industrialists shy away from coming to West Bengal. There is a dire need to change this government to attract investment in the state,” Sarkar, the Union Minister of State for Education, told PTI in an interview.

The TMC had risen to power in 2011 over its anti-forcible land grab policy plank, and agitations over land acquisition by the erstwhile Left Front government in Nandigram and Singur.

The Left has repeatedly claimed that the acquisitions were meant for the re-industrialisation of the state and creating job opportunities for the youth. Stating that problems of unemployment and migration of labour from Bengal to other states will be resolved only if industries come, Sarkar said in the meantime, skill development programmes of the youth will be undertaken.


Sarkar, the Bankura MP in the outgoing 17th Lok Sabha, said, ”In the next five years, we have plans to skill a large number of youths.” He said that at the same time, cooperative and farm produce sectors will also have to be strengthened for a better interface with the related industries.

Having been re-nominated by the BJP from the Bankura Lok Sabha seat, Sarkar expressed confidence of winning the seat by a margin more than the 1.74 lakh votes he secured over his nearest TMC opponent in the 2019 polls.

Brushing aside murmurs among a section of BJP supporters as also the Bankura district’s Hindu Mahasabha, alleging the doctor candidate’s disconnect with base-level workers, Sarkar said, ”Our party is working very nicely”.

Sarkar asserted he is a son of the soil and that workers and supporters are steadfast with him.

Claiming that the people of Bengal ”see the BJP as the only feasible and potential alternative”, he said the Narendra Modi government has led the country through “a journey of development and social welfare”.

Sarkar also maintained that there have not been any allegations of corruption, both at the Centre and in BJP-ruled states.

He accused the TMC in the state of ”corruption and oppression” of people by goons owing allegiance to the ruling party in the state.

Allegations of sexual atrocities on women and land grabbing of villagers by some local TMC leaders in Sandeshkhali region will ”definitely” affect the TMC in Bankura, situated around 250 km away, Sarkar said.

“The incidents there (Sandeshkhali) will influence the women voters,” he said.

Sarkar also alleged that the TMC was supporting former party leaders accused in various cases, like Shajahan Sheikh in Sandeshkhali, Anubrata Mondal, who is lodged in Tihar jail in connection with a case of alleged cattle smuggling, and others.

He said the BJP-led government at the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal cannot be compared. The TMC supremo’s model is akin to the ”feudal system”, he asserted.

Sarkar alleged that ”cut money” culture for getting government benefits, and a ”franchise system” with goons and mafia, have become prevalent in West Bengal under the present dispensation.

”The PM’s development work should not be compared with Mamata Banerjee’s model. Modi’s ‘Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas’ model was to ensure betterment of the lives of everyone,” he said. Sarkar said that the central government was providing free ration to 80 crore people across the country.

He added that the adivasis, who constitute a significant part of the electorate in the constituency’s ‘Jangal Mahal’ area, which was affected by Maoist activities more than a decade back, were with the BJP.

”The BJP-led NDA government has done a lot for them,” the minister said, stating that it has enacted the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act (FCAA) 2023, and had included the Santhali language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution in 2003 during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.


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