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Political differences won't hamper Bengal development: Jaitley

In terms of development of India and West Bengal, the political differences between the two parties in power in the state and the Centre will not matter and the government in the centre will fully cooperate in the development and growth of the state of West Bengal, said Union finance minister Arun Jaitley at the inauguration of Bandhan Bank in Kolkata.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2015 16:39 IST
Bandhan Bank,Arun Jaitley,West Bengal
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said the opposition does not want to let the monsoon session of Parliament run. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday that political differences between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress will not come in way of development of West Bengal. Calling for more economic activity in eastern states, he lamented "obsolete policies" of past that have hurt development in the region.

"...the party to which I belong (BJP) and the party which rules West Bengal (TMC) are strongly opposed to each other and that probably will continue. But in terms of development of this country and the state, the political differences between the two will not matter and we will fully cooperate in the development and growth of the state of West Bengal," Jaitley said at the inauguration of Bandhan Bank in Kolkata.

Jaitley said it was "a break from some of the obsolete policies of the past and the realisation of the potential of this area which is of extreme importance." The Centre and the state are cooperating towards a greater enhanced growth rates that will eventually bring prosperity in the state, he said.

Jaitley was in the town for the launch of city-based Bandhan Financial Services' full-fledged commercial banking operations. He said the change in developmental politics and developmental environment will be created by institutions like Bandhan Bank.

"In fact Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly declared that for further growth of India, the growth of eastern states is important," he said.

West Bengal, which has created huge number of scientists, economists, academicians, authors and writers, is now creating the Bangla entrepreneur and "this is a great beginning", he said.

"I think this beginning is also important in terms of the return of entrepreneurship to the state of West Bengal, which was otherwise fleeing from the state. If this were to happen, I am sure the state would be on a great path to progress," he said.

Without referring to any party, he said there has been pleasant change in Kolkata which is almost painted Blue as opposed to past when it was painted red.

Blue is the colour of ruling TMC and Red is associated with the Left parties.

"I recollect my days from the younger years, when I used to see this city painted red. And when it was painted red, of course new institutions were not being called. The existing ones were shifting out and West Bengal which was known not for producing many entrepreneurs but certainly known for producing intellectuals, even Ashok Lahiri and Amit Mitra had shifted out," Jaitley said.

The finance minister said while the change of colour has brought back both of them, the birth of a Bangla entrepreneur is the most important.

West Bengal, he said, has a lot of intellectual capital. It had academic institutions of great importance, more need to be created, the old ones need to be restored back to their excellence.

"Odisha and West Bengal also have a lot of mineral resource. North East has oil and gas... Therefore for the growth of this region, you have the fundamentals which are present here," he said.

First Published: Aug 23, 2015 16:27 IST