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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Didi visits red bastions with a slew of promises

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Purulia (West Bengal), December 03, 2012
First Published: 23:45 IST(3/12/2012) | Last Updated: 02:06 IST(4/12/2012)

If panchayat polls are at hand, promises for development cannot be far behind. On Monday, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee swore to speed up growth and development in the state's two most underdeveloped districts - Bankura and Purulia.

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"There will be schools and colleges; there will be roads; there will be a multi-specialty hospital," Banerjee promised the people during her whirlwind tour of Purulia.

Farmers, she said, would be given aid to buy tractors. And the government would arrange bank loans for tribals.

She was even willing to give a third chance to candidates who failed in the school recruitment examinations.

In Bankura, the chief minister pulled up senior government officials for slackness and ordered that pending projects be sped up.

Banerjee's visit to the districts is significant. In the assembly elections in 2011, her party made strong inroads in the urban areas of Bankura and Purulia.

But the rural areas still remain in the control of the Left Front. Lack of funds has put brakes on many of the promised projects and discontent is rife in the far-flung areas. The presence of Maoists is strong in both districts.

If panchayat elections are held in May, Banerjee has less than six months to create an impact. And she has her job cut out.

In spite of her party's overwhelming presence, the core organisation is in tatters and infighting has marred the image of the party and its senior leaders.

To add to its woes, the Trinamool Congress will have to fight it alone now that the Congress is almost playing the role of the opposition.


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