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Is every woman in Bengal getting raped? asks Mamata

Didi vents her ire on media and intellectuals for ‘blowing things out of proportion’

kolkata Updated: Jun 24, 2013 13:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee took on a section of the media and intellectuals on Sunday for ‘blowing things out of proportion’.

“Some people have no work except to dress up and appear in talk shows in some news channels every evening and malign the government. They are spreading lies that Bengal is ranked first in rapes. We would take action against such people. They are insulting our women and our soil. They speak as if every woman in Bengal is raped and everyone in the state is a rapist,” Mamata said.

“It was the CPI(M) that raped Tapasi Malik. Have they forgotten the Bantala and Dhantala incidents?” Mamata wondered and went on to allege that the CPI(M) has put in money in some leading news channels to spread disinformation about the Trinamool government. Mamata restated that her government is determined to ensure speedy disposal of the Kamduni rape and murder case.

On Sunday, amid allegations of a secret understanding between the ruling Trinamool and the BJP, chief minister Mamata Banerjee wooed minorities at her public meeting in Minakhan, Basirhat, more than 50 km from Kolkata.

Mamata’s Minakhan meet was dominated by her welfare schemes for minorities and allegations that the opposition is trying to disturb the communal harmony in the state. She reiterated her decision to maintain equidistance from both the BJP and the Congress for the upcoming general elections next year.

Minorities roughly constitute 30% of the population in Bengal, a crucial vote bank for Mamata, whose support en masse propelled her to victory in the 2011 Assembly elections. The chorus of a secret understanding between Trinamool and BJP had been growing louder since the latter decided to withdraw its candidate from the Howrah Lok Sabha by-election earlier this month.

“Who said the BJP withdrew its candidate to provide an edge to the Trinamool? The BJP in fact transferred its vote to the CPI(M) and also put up two candidates as independents in the hope that they would cut into the Trinamool vote. The CPI(M), BJP, Congress and Maoists have joined hands together,” Mamata alleged in minority-dominated Minakhan.

While harping on reservation for Muslims in education and jobs and scholarships for minority students, Mamata also said a 750-bed hospital would come up in Bhangar for which 20 acres of land has been identified. She went on to list her initiatives like fair price shops, fair price diagnostic centres, kisan mandis and polytechnic colleges in the district.

The chief minister said she would create an employment bank where one lakh youth would be given monthly allowances until they get employment. She also alleged that CPI(M) had filled up the earlier employment exchanges with its own cadres

First Published: Jun 24, 2013 08:59 IST