‘PM under coalition compulsions’
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on the “overall failure” of the Left Front government in West Bengal was on account of the compulsions of alliance politics, West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Sunday.
“I am surprised at what he (PM) said on Saturday. I do not understand what prompted him to think that the Left Front government was not functioning. Earlier, when I met him he always used to enquire about the progress in areas like land distribution, new investment and new industries in West Bengal. I understand he has come for an election campaign on behalf of his own party and its alliance and probably that is why he had to say such things,” Bhattacharjee said. At a public meeting on Saturday, Singh said, “the vehicle of governance has stopped in West Bengal.”
When asked why this negative assessment has come from the Prime Minister, who once described him as the “best chief minister of India”, Bhattacharjee said, “only the Prime Minister himself can explain about what he said when, and as far as my behaviour is concerned, it will be judged by none else other than the people of West Bengal.”
He also rubbished claims that the condition of the Muslims in Gujarat was better than their counterparts in West Bengal. “I do not know on what basis the Prime Minister made such an assessment and comment. Be it financial or social security, the condition of the Muslims in West Bengal is much better than what it is in any other state,” he said.
The chief minister also said the Prime Minister was extremely unhappy at what happened in Singur (Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee's agitation leading to the Tatas taking their Nano project to Gujarat) or the delay in the dedicated railways freight corridor (under Banerjee's watch as rail minister). “I know he is extremely unhappy over such issues,” Bhattacharjee said.