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West Bengal: New CM, new work culture

May 22, 2011 06:49 AM IST Politics Politics

Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee was on foot again to the Writers' Buildings - and this time she caused a flutter by turning up for work on a Saturday - something the staff at the state secretariat are not used to.

Apart from holding meetings with her ministers, Banerjee utilised the day touring the different blocks of the building and seeing things for herself at the State's power citadel.

The West Bengal chief minister said, "If you do the work well, others will follow you. But you must know how to work. Political affiliations often pose hurdles in government's work."

Taking cue from Chief Minister, ministers who have just been allotted portfolios also tried to create an impression. They attended to guests, accepted congratulations and made seemingly tall promises…

Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said, "The facilities that Londan has and the way it is maintained, we have to build Kolkata in the same way."
Sports Minister Madan Mitra said, "I will speak to the corporate companies, the corporate sector to promote and sponsor four sportsmen in each field of sports." Irrigation Minister Manas Bhuinya said, "I have talked with the additional chief secretary of my department, all officers… I have told them I will not mean who you are but I will mean what you are doing." Higher Education Minister Bratya Basu said, "The interference of college unions during admissions must stop. Unions can do their politics after admissions are over."

A significant start, many would say even as doubts prevailed among Banerjee's well wishers about her ability to sustain the effort.

"The bustle behind me suggests that Saturday is like any other working day for the new government of West Bengal. And if morning shows the day, the Babus of Writers' Buildings will have to re-plan their weekends from now on.