Mamata puts her feet on the pedal, promises 25 lakh cycles to students

  • Koushik Datta, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Oct 30, 2015 15:49 IST
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the meeting in Gopiballabhpur (West Midnapore) on Thursday. (Samir Mondal/HT photo)

About six months away from the Assembly polls, the chief minister reiterated her budget promise of distributing 40 lakh cycles to high school students, 25 lakh out of which will be distributed by January.

Similar to the Mukhyamantri Balak and Balika Cycle Yojana that Nitish Kumar famously launched in 2010, Mamata Banerjee’s Sabuj Sathi scheme envisages distribution of cycles to students of either gender studying in classes 10, 11 and 12.

“The total 40 lakh will be distributed in two years. This district (West Midnapore) will get 1.5 lakh and today we will distribute 35,000 under the Sabuj Sathi scheme,” said the chief minister at a public meeting in Gopiballabhpur, West Midnapore. She also repeated her earlier promise of distributing free textbooks to those appearing for Madhyamik exam. The government will start giving out these textbooks from next academic year.

“We have done a lot of work, far more than what you asked for. Let the ongoing work be completed. Ask for more when the new government is formed,” said the chief minister. She also urged the people to support those who delivered.

For some parts of her 40- minute speech the chief minister targeted the Left. Just a day before she lashed out at the prime minister and BJP.

She highlighted how the debt repayment on loans incurred by the former regime has crippled her government that cannot pursue development plans as precious revenue is spent on debt repayment.

“I could generate more jobs if we were not weighed down by this debt burden. I am carrying the sins committed by the Left government,” said the chief minister.

She also attacked the Centre by saying that the government is setting Enforcement Directorate and CBI on anybody who dares to speak out against them, she said. “ED and CBI were also investigating businessmen and artists,” fumed Mamata. “It’s not that simple. She has to say in which particular case ED and CBI were let loose upon her men. If there are valid reasons these agencies must investigate,” argued CPI(M) politburo member and Lok Sabha MP, Md Salim.

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