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Not Industries, 'Syndicates' Thrived in Bengal Under TMC, Says BJP's Babul Supriyo

File photo of Union minister Babul Supriyo. (PTI)

File photo of Union minister Babul Supriyo. (PTI)

"Show me a picture of Mamata Banerjee setting up a big industry, a picture of her launching a big business investment in West Bengal," the Asansol MP said adding that there would be none.

Union minister Babul Supriyo on Monday alleged that the Trinamool Congress government failed to set up any big industry in West Bengal while syndicates and cut money culture have thrived in the state. In West Bengal, 'syndicate' refers to a group of businessmen, apparently backed by the ruling party, who allegedly force promoters and contractors to buy construction materials, often of inferior quality, at high prices.

Speaking at a seminar on rejuvenating West Bengal economically, Supriyo said the flight of industries from Bengal had started from the 1980s when Jyoti Basu was at the helm and the situation was further aggravated when Mamata Banerjee-led TMC came to power. "The TMC introduced the custom of cut money and syndicates. All sorts of illegal activities- from smuggling of coal to cattle- took place during its tenure," the minister of state for environment, forest and climate change claimed.

"Show me a picture of Mamata Banerjee setting up a big industry, a picture of her launching a big business investment in West Bengal," the Asansol MP said adding that there would be none. He asserted Banerjee's "ridiculous land acquisition laws" which ask investors to purchase land directly from owners are hurting investments in West Bengal.

Supriyo's comments were preceded by the statement of BJP vice-president Mukul Roy at a recent rally in Singur that it was a blunder to "drive away the Tatas from the acquired land." Roy, who was on the side of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee during the time of anti-farm land acquisition movement, publicly conceded it was a mistake so far as the Singur movement is concerned. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta said at the seminar that even if a road map is prepared for Bengal's economic rejuvenation, it will not materialise under the present regime.

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