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Time Bengal saw change: Sonia

india Updated: Apr 16, 2011 15:30 IST
Arindam Sarkar
Arindam Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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She left nothing to interpretation and nothing to speculation. AICC president Sonia Gandhi is baying for Marxists’ blood and she wants the CPI(M)-led Left Front government defeated in the Assembly elections.

“It is time to think of change. It is time for Bengal to undergo change. Help the Congress and the Trinamool to bring this change. A change in the life of the people and a change for the good of Bengal in complete sense,” Gandhi said on Friday at a public meeting in Ratua Assembly constituency.

The venue was selected for Gandhi’s message to the people to cast their vote for Congress’ Ratua candidate Samar Mukherjee and Chanchal candidate Asif Mehboob.

Training her guns on the Left Front government, Gandhi said it has been ruling here for 34 years only to help itself and its partymen, but this is not acceptable in a democracy. “Congress has been working for the poor and all sections of the people and the policies of the UPA government show they want all strata of the society to progress. And it is only then that the country progresses,” said the Congress president amid cheers from the crowd.

Gandhi pointed out that 34 years ago, CPI(M) came to power in the name of the poor, but has done nothing for the development of the state. Floods and erosion of riverbanks remain major problems in Malda, electricity has not reached, the public distribution system has collapsed, unemployment and under-development remain serious concerns.

“But why is Bengal in such a state? Why so backward? Why has the Left Front not utilised funds allocated for development of the state? For 34 years, this government has done nothing. Do you people want this to continue?” said Gandhi.

She pointed out that the entire country has progressed, the UPA government has come out with pro-people schemes for every strata of society and thousands of crores have been given to Left Front government under this scheme but it has either failed or has not properly utilised the funds.

“Bengal is full of efficient people and yet it remains backward. Who is responsible for this? It makes me sad that Bengal is in such a condition today. This time we should bring about change for good,” said Gandhi.

Speaking at the venue, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said 54 Assembly seats from Darjeeling to Malda would go to polls on May 18, people would cast their votes to decide whether they want to continue with the government here or bring about a change.

Mukherjee reiterated that that paribartan (change) was required.