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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Had no work, say former TMC ministers in UPA govt

Ravik Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 23, 2012
First Published: 11:27 IST(23/9/2012) | Last Updated: 11:38 IST(23/9/2012)

A day after submitting their resignation letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a majority of Trinamool Congress Union ministers opened up saying that they had no work and files bypassed their table.

Some even talked about their confrontation over key issues like land.

The former ministers stated that now they would concentrate on party work, apart from taking on Congress inside and outside Parliament. Already Trinamool Congress has decided to hold a dharna at Jantar Mantar on September 26 protesting against FDI in retail, diesel price hike and several other issues.

“I almost had no work as an MoS. Files which were supposed to come bypassed my table including crucial ones. But still I think I was able to bring some tourism projects for Bengal,” said Sultan Ahmed, former Union minister of state for tourism.

“I protested when ITDC planned to sell out a part of the land it had. We were against it,” Ahmed said.

Trinamool Congress had one Cabinet minister Mukul Roy, who had the railways portfolio, apart from being MoS shipping. The party also had five MoS portfolios with Sougata Roy as MoS urban development, C M Jatua as MoS information and broadcasting. Sisir Adhikari was MoS rural development while Sudip Bandopadhyay was MoS health.

Most of the ministers of state said their work was primarily limited to writing answers to questions raised in Parliament and hardly had any say in the working of the department or ministry. Only Mukul Roy had his hands full and stated that he tried to bring in as many a projects possible for Bengal.

Both Sudip Bandppadhaya and Sougata Roy stated that they felt MoS should be given more responsibility. “I am all for allowing ministers of state to be given more responsibilities. There was hardly any work for us.

Sougata raised the issue with the Prime Minister. Later I heard that the PM will hold regular meetings with MoS, but it never happened,” said Bandipadhyay.

Even a few hours before he submitted his resignation he met with the Union health minister Gulam Nabi Azad and pressed for various projects including AIIMs like hospital in Bengal. “I assured he that he will positively think about the projects,” Bandopadhya said.

“I confronted them over its land policy. Our party is against forcible land acquisition and I highlighted it. Land is under my department and when they tried to bring in the land Bill, I opposed it,” said Sisir Adhikari.


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