Mamata invites flak for ‘mini-secretariat’ tours
By Shutapa Paul | ENS - KOLKATA
09th September 2012 09:14 AM
In the last 16 months Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has made it a point to tour the districts in West Bengal accompanied by her own entourage. It is not just Union Railway Minister Mukul Roy who faithfully follows her around, Didi’s diktat has ensured that at any given time, important ministers, most of her government’s secretaries and top bureaucrats form part of her ‘Writers’ on Wheels’ tours.
Mamata attends meetings with District Magistrates and follows it up with a public meeting announcing the various initiatives of her government, monitoring the progress of the state government projects and implementation of national schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
Mamata showcases the ‘mini-secretariat’ flamboyantly by declaring, “Look, I have brought Writers’ Building to you.”
While Didi is holding rallies in the state, both the Congress and the CPM are protesting against this unnecessary expenditure by a cash-strapped government.
“Everyone has their own functioning style, but over the years, as per our Constitutional set-up, there are rules of governance. I do not think this government is following them. The CM is for celebration and extravaganza to catch the eye of the general masses. She is moving around with a durbar, which is the very antithesis of democracy and decentralisation,” central committee member of the CPM Mohd Salim told Express.
The CPM is also accusing the ruling TMC of political discrimination. Former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s party conference at Arambagh in Hooghly was not given permission citing law and order issues. Later, the district authorities gave nod to the programme to be held on September 9 provided microphones were not used.
A proposed October 1 public gathering by the CPM has also run into rough weather.
While the CPM wants to hold the meeting at the same place as Didi’s July 21 Martyrs’ Day event, the city police are pressing the party to change the venue.
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