BJP chief misguided people of Bengal: Amit Mitra

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Kolkata, April 26 (IANS) Senior West Bengal Minister Amit Mitra on Wednesday dismissed as a “blatant and motivated attempt to distort the truth” BJP National President Amit Shah’s allegations that the state was a poor performer in development indices.

Accusing Shah of “misguiding” the people, Mitra gave a point-by-point rebuttal of the allegations levelled by the BJP chief.

On Shah’s comment that the six years of the Trinamool Congress rule has disappointed those who had hoped that an era of development would begin in the state after the end of the Left Front regime, Mitra said: “They are comparing a government of six years with 34 years of Left rule. They are like seasonal birds, coming and going, so they cannot see the development.”

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He said during the first five years of the Mamata Banerjee-led government, state plan expenditure had increased from Rs 14,615 crore to Rs 54,069 crore, capital expenditure rose by seven times and the state’s own revenues doubled.

Countering Shah’s comment on the declining share of West Bengal in the country’s GDP, Mitra said GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) of Bengal more than doubled from nearly Rs 4.61 lakh crore in 2010-11 to Rs 9.20 lakh crore in 2015-16.

Mitra said Bengal had a debt of Rs 1.9 lakh crore when the Left Front was voted out of power in 2011 and it now stands at Rs 3 lakh crore.

Of the Rs 113,000 crore increase in the state’s debt stock during the past five years, around Rs 94,000 crore went into debt servicing of the debt left behind by the previous government, he said.

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In fact, Bengal’s debt-GSDP ratio has improved from 41 per cent to 32.58 per cent, the minister said.

Shah alleged industries were shutting down, only bomb-making factories were booming.

In reply, Mitra said: “Industry growth in India is 7 per cent while in Bengal the same is 10 per cent. Furthermore, 40 per cent investment proposals received at Bengal Global Business Summit are in the process of fructification while figure for the same in Gujarat is 2-3 per cent.”

“The facts speak for themselves and falsehood stands exposed,” Mitra added.

Opposing Shah’s allegation against the Trinamool Congress’ “appeasement politics”, the state minister said the schemes are for all and the government “works for all”.

Mitra also said after demonetisation, the BJP claimed the measure has eliminated fake notes in the country. “Everyone knows what the truth is,” he said.

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