Digha: The Centre has stopped funding development projects in West Bengal and is taking away a major chunk of the state's earnings for debt servicing of more than Rs 2 lakh crore, putting in jeopardy people's "welfare projects", Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday alleged.
"Development of Bengal cannot be stopped by hatching conspiracies. The Centre has stopped all money for Bengal's projects," Banerjee told a rally in this sea resort in East Midnapore district.
Adding another chapter to her continuing tirade against the Narendra Modi government, the BJP and a section of the media, she said, "They cannot compete with us in development and work, so they have became jealous (of the TMC government). They stopped all money (for projects) for Bengal."
"The Left incurred debts. The Centre is taking away our revenue as instalments for the debt. The UPA government has done this and now the BJP government is doing the same," she said, asking why her government should be made to suffer for what the previous Left Front government had done.
"The money with which we will provide drinking water, build roads and give jobs, is being taken away from us (the state exchequer). Rs 1 lakh crore has been deducted from the state's coffers towards loan repayment. Every year the amount is rising," Banerjee said. However, despite this "financial crunch", the government was working for the people.
"Bengal is No. 1 in 100 Days Work Scheme, Skill Development and MSME sector. We have started Kanyashree scheme to encourage girls to pursue studies and to prevent child marriage," she said. "We are setting up 34 multi super-specialty hospitals. We have made all beds at government hospitals free. We have started fair price medicine shops and fair price diagnostic centres. Healthcare has become affordable for the poor," she said.
"We set up 31 new colleges in 3 years. There were only 34 colleges in Bengal till 2011," Banerjee claimed, adding, "We have opened eight new universities in 3 years. The Left had set up only three universities in 34 years." "We will take Bengal to new heights of glory," she said, adding, "our dream is to take Bengal No. 1 in every sphere."
"Those who are failing to see the development and progress made in the past three and a half years are cooking curries based on lies," she said in a dig at a section of the media and political opponents. Those who are jealous of us, cannot see any development.
They cannot see development work in Kolkata and Rajharhat (satellite township adjoining the city). I ask them to come to Digha. Don't you feel proud? "I urge them to come to Digha and just see for once how it has been developed. We will bear the cost of the transport," she said.