CPI-M alleges BJP-Trinamool understanding to hush up sting issue

| Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 18:57
First Published |
Mamata Banerjee

CPI-M alleges BJP-TMC to hush up sting issue

Kolkata: Upping the ante against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the Narada News sting operation, the CPI-M on Thursday alleged an understanding between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress to hush up the matter.
Addressing media persons here, Communist Party of India-Marxist Lok Sabha member Mohammad Salim asked why wasn't the Narendra Modi government at the Centre or the Mamata Banerjee government in the state probing the matter when a host of parliamentarians, state ministers and leaders have been caught on tape accepting bribe.
"The chief minister claims the videos to be fake, but nothing has been done to check if they really are fake. It's the responsibility of both the central and the state government to send the tapes for forensic tests.
"Why isn't the BJP acting in this matter? They are indulging in theatrics but doing nothing. In parliament, we all saw how (finance minister) Arun Jaitley kept mum when the matter was raised. During campaigning, they (BJP) will clamour a lot but when it comes to acting, they do nothing," said Salim.
Referring to the multi-crore-rupee Saradha scam, in which several Trinamool leaders were arrested and interrogated, Salim said: "The CBI's progress in the scam has been thwarted in pursuance of the Modi government's bid to get the Trinamool by its side and the Trinamool's bid to save its skin and not repay the money looted in the scam.
"The same thing is being enacted now," he said.
While both Banerjee and the Trinamool have been claiming the tapes to be "fake" and "doctored", Salim wondered if the Trinamool was opposing the probe to save its skin.
"The chief minister has expressed her anguish over the tapes, and not those who have been caught taking money. This shows that for the CM, stealing, robbing, extortion is pardonable so long as her men don't get caught.
"Instead of ascertaining the authenticity of the tapes, she is accusing the man behind the sting. She and her party are opposing any kind of probe. It is evident she wants to cover it up and would persecute whoever wants to bring out the truth," he added.
Narada News, a portal, on March 14 published a video in which several Trinamool leaders were purportedly shown accepting bundles of cash in return for favours to a fictitious company and one of them asking for the cash to be deposited in his office.
It subsequently uploaded two more videos in which two prominent party leaders were caught on tape -- one of them accepting money, the other seeking a "benami" stake in a project.

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Buddhadeb steered WB to 4th position in industrial growth; Present CM may have complained of inheriting empty coffers from LF that ruled WB for 34 years, but cold statistics reveals that LF created a base for her to build upon. During last years of LF, WB witnessed rapid industrialization. Buddhadeb steered WB to 4th position in terms of rapid growth of industry even better than Guj and Andhra. Medium and Small Enterprises (MSEs), considered as backbone of industry in any state, had shown largest expansion, putting WB at number four, only after Maha, TN and Delhi. Guj is a distant 7 and Andhra a shade above at 6. According to RBI data on credit growth to MSEs — one of the parameters to judge expansion of industry in a state —WB had shown HIGHEST CREDIT INTAKE. In 2010, it had an outstanding credit of more than Rs 27,800 crore, while Guj (Rs 20,500 crore) and Andhra (Rs 22,500 crore) were far behind. Amid depressing saga of backwardness, Bhattacharjee's feat could have been a good starting point for TMC. In WB, outstanding credit to MSEs had shown remarkable growth. It was Rs 13,222 crore in 2008, Rs 15,260 crore in 2009 and Rs 27,865 crore in 2010. Outstanding credit to MSEs in Maha was Rs 71,566 crore in 2010 while it was Rs 41,787 crore in TN 2009. To provide an impetus to MSEs Sector, PM had constituted a taskforce which had gone into areas of credit, taxation, labour, infrastructure, technology, skill development, marketing, etc., and had accordingly advised banks to achieve a 20% year-on-year growth in credit to micro and small enterprises along with a 10% annual growth in number of micro enterprises accounts in progressive states. Sufficient credit was being made available to micro enterprises within MSE sector as per RBI guidelines to banks. Hence, 60% of MSE advances are earmarked for micro enterprises. The banks had been advised that allocation of 60% of MSE advances to micro enterprises was to be achieved in stages such as 50% in 2010-11, 55% in 2011-12 and 60% in 2012-13. The task force was headed by principal secretary to PM, MM Sing.

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