Mamata pushes officers, ministers on development projects; says LS polls may be announced any time
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is pushing her bureaucrats and ministers to deliver on development projects by September-October in the belief that the 2019 Lok Sabha polls could be advanced to any time later this year.kolkata Updated: Jun 08, 2018 21:37 IST
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is pushing her bureaucrats and ministers to deliver on development projects by September-October in the firm belief that the 2019 Lok Sabha polls could be advanced to any time later this year.
In both private conversations and public meetings, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief is saying that the general elections may be brought forward suddenly and they have to be ready with completion of the development projects.
“The polls might be announced any time. So be ready. I will not tolerate any lapse or delay in completion of development projects,” the chief minister said in an administrative meeting in Howrah district on Thursday.
“Submit reports on the development projects funded by your MPLAD schemes by September,” she told party MPs.
“Work fast to compensate for the time lost for the panchayat elections,” Banerjee told the bureaucrats and ministers.
She had earlier said that it suits the purpose of development work if all the seats are won by the ruling party in the state. Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats out of which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah wants to win at least 22.
For the TMC chief, the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are extremely significant because she has stepped out of her state politics to help set up an anti-BJP front of regional parties at the national level.
Over the last few weeks she has held meetings, or spoken on phone with leaders of a number of parties, from the DMK to Shiv Sena, Telangana Rashtra Samithi to Patidar movement leader Hardik Patel of Gujarat.
She has also recently redistributed administrative and political responsibilities within the party and government to focus on this new role.
“It is clear thatas the polls will draw near, BJP’s religious polarisation tactics will become nastier. If the chief minister’s assumption of polls being brought forward comes true, we will have to be ready for it,”said a senior member in her cabinet.
According to state panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee, since Trinamool Congress came to power in May 2011, their focus had been overall development.
“Carrying out development work has been the reason for our increasing support. On the one hand, we will continue our programme, and on the other, we will weave our campaign around this theme,” said Mukherjee, the seniormost minister in the Bengal cabinet.
Another cabinet member said that besides highlighting the development work of the state government, the chief minister also instructed them to campaign on how non-cooperation from the union government in releasing the state’s dues are creating problems for the cash-starved administration.
“We would project that despite such constraints the state government is not neglecting development of the state,” said a minister.
Party MP and chief minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee has already become the most prominent face leading the agitation programmes on the streets of Kolkata.