Citing a newspaper report, Banerjee said the Tatas owe over Rs 1,000 crore to their suppliers and vendors and the decision to leave was voluntary and not out of compulsion.
“Though they have left on their own, the state government says the Tatas came here for industrialisation and Mamata forced them to go away,” Banerjee said at a rally at Rani Rashmoni Sarani on Friday. She added, “Tatas have retrenched around 7,000 workers. At their Jamshedpur factory, labourers are working only four days a week.”
Banerjee also took a dig at the chemical hub coming up in Nayachar. “The Left Front government now has a new name for the chemical hub — Petroleum Chemicals Petrochemical Industrial Region. They think people don’t know what a chemical hub is and have forgotten the Bhopal gas tragedy,” she said.
She alleged that though the state government was not concerned about revamping sick units like Basumati and Dunlop, it was making tall claims about industrialisation and development. “By industrialisation, CPM means setting up shopping malls,” she said.
Banerjee also raised the issue of disparity of pay structure of the state government employees with other states. “When the Sixth Pay Commission will be applicable for the employees of other states, why can’t those provisions be applicable in West Bengal?” she asked.
Mamata bats for para teachers
With elections round the corner, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is missing no opportunity to criticise the state government and score political brownie points in the garb of para teachers.
On Friday, Mamata along with her party leaders Partha Chaterjee, Mukul Roy and Sudip Bandopahyay were rallying behind the para teachers, who have been demanding permanent appointments and better pay-scales.
Around 62,000 para teachers in the state were being paid from the funds available in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The primary section teachers were paid Rs 2,000 per month and the secondary section teachers Rs 3,500 per month, which is far less than what is being offered by the other states.
The West Bengal Para Teachers Association, which held a rally at Rani Rashmoni Avenue, also sent a delegation to Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi to air their grievances. The association has threatened to launch a hunger-strike in front of Bikash Bhavan from March 31.
“The state government is working like a corrupt corporate house. About 75,000 students of the Primary Teachers Training Institutes are suffering because of the state government and now the future of 62,000 para teachers is in the dark,” she said. Mamata cited the example of Delhi, Uttarakhand and Sikkim, where para teachers are paid more than West Bengal.
“Students should check the institutes before they take in the admission or else their situation will be like the PTTI students, who were cheated by the state government,” said Mamata.
She promised that all the services of the para teachers will be made permanent once the Trinamool Congress comes to power.
Mamata later visited Howrah to participate in a demonstration. She came down heavilly on the Howrah police who, she claimed, have failed to make any breakthrough in the seven-year-old Yash Lakhotia’s murder case.
“A crime of such a nature is unprecedented in the state. So far, the culprits who abducted and killed Yash have not been arrested,” she said.