What happened to the austerity measures proclaimed by the chief minister? Consider this: The food and supplies department will convene a meeting on December 1 to discuss procurement of rice at Nandan auditorium, which will be chaired by the department’s minister Jyotipriya Mullick and attended by senior bureaucrats including chief secretary Sanjay Mitra. A sumptuous lunch has been ordered for those attending the meeting, and the bill is estimated at Rs 1 lakh, if not more.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been a strong votary of work culture, but her own work culture has invited criticism. For example: she took three days off for Kali Puja, which was on November 13. On all three days, work at Writers’ Buildings almost came to a standstill. Then on Chhat Puja on November 19, she left Writers’ at 4 in the afternoon for an interaction with devotees at Princep Ghat on the banks of the Hooghly. The next day she left Writers’ at 1 pm and went to Chandernagore to inaugurate a Jagatdhatri Puja. “How on earth can a chief minister have so much time? Where has her zeal gone? She used to work like a ‘bhoot’, as she herself pointed out so many times,” said one official.