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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, April 11, 2014
Hours after BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi criticised West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday, the Trinamool Congress chief took to Facebook to get back at the Gujarat chief minister. In a post on her official Facebook page late Thursday evening, Mamata said Gujarat’s economy had actually decelerated during Modi’s regime.

“Gujarat’s growth rate which was 14.97% during 1980-90 and 12.77% during 1990-2000 fell to 9.82% during his period from 2001-2011,” wrote Mamata.

“Moreover the myth of industrialisation of Gujarat during his period that is being carried out is also false propaganda, as industrialisation of Gujarat had already happened before he came to power.”

At a rally in Siliguri on Thursday, Modi publicly slammed Mamata for the first time, saying she had failed to bring real ‘poribartan’ (change) in Bengal and accusing her of vote-bank politics.

This was the Trinamool chief’s second attack on Modi’s much-touted ‘Gujarat model of development’ in the past one week.

In another Facebook post on April 5, Mamata had cited human development indicators to prove that West Bengal had a better model of governance than Gujarat.
She cited data for infant mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio, school drop-out rate, household access to safe drinking water and growth in revenue collection to drive home her point.

The infant mortality rate in West Bengal is 32 for every 1,000 live births, whereas for Gujarat it is 41, Mamata said in the post.

She said Bengal had lesser rate of school drop-outs than Gujarat. In Bengal, 20.5 out of every 100 children discontinue studies between classes 1 and 4, while in Gujarat, more than 25 students out of every 100 drop out in the same classes.

“Our growth in revenue is an all-India record. We have achieved this through simplification of procedures, transparency and e-governance,” wrote Mamata.

She said Gujarat got more central funds than West Bengal, and that her government had inherited a huge debt burden from the previous Left regime.

“Our new government in Bengal started its journey in May 2011with a staggering debt burden of more than Rs. 2 lakh crore left behind by the previous Left regime... In some circles, Gujarat model of development is being talked about. You may remember Gujarat did not have any such debt burden.”

Parameter West Bengal Gujarat
Infant mortality rate 32 41
Maternal mortality ratio 145 148
School drop-out rate
(class I-IV)
20.5 25.6
Household access to
safe drinking water
92.2% 90.3%
Growth in revenue
31.55% 15.77%

Source: Mamata Banerjee's Facebook post