'Modi doing politics in inaugurating Calcutta HC's circuit bench'



West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doing politics by inaugurating projects "hurriedly" ahead of the elections after the PM inaugurated a circuit bench of the Calcutta High Court in north Bengal.

"I am ashamed to talk about this man. The circuit bench is under the Calcutta High Court. Was anyone from the Calcutta High Court present at the inauguration? Neither state government (officials) nor anyone from high court was present there," Banerjee said.

Distorting the Prime Minister's name, she said, "Maddy babu did not inform any judge of the high court. He did not even inform the state government and just sent a minute-to-minute programme that he would do that because the elections are coming. It is a matter of great shame. The state government was not consulted."

She alleged that the Central government did not spend a single penny on the circuit bench project in which about Rs 300 crore were spent by the state.

"The land was provided by the state government. We completed the project in coordination with the Calcutta High Court," Banerjee told reporters here.

She also accused the Centre of delaying the issuance of a notification which is required for the commencement of the bench.

"About few months back, the then Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court fixed a date to inaugurate the bench. The Chief Justice and I were supposed to be present at the inauguration ceremony but a notification required to commence court work was not issued by the Centre," Banerjee said.

Before addressing a rally in Jalpaiguri district on Friday, the Prime Minister inaugurated the circuit bench. Incidentally, the Union cabinet approved the establishment of the circuit bench of the Calcutta High Court in Jalpaiguri on February 6. It will have jurisdiction over four districts -- Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar.

"They hired a band party to beat their own election drum. This is unfortunate. Without manpower, how will it function? What does he think of himself? That he is the big boss of this country and whatever he wants, he can do it? Does he think that all are fools and only he is the clever person? He wants to do everything hurriedly now ahead of the elections," Banerjee alleged.

In 2016, the Central government promised to reopen seven tea gardens; have they opened the closed tea gardens, Banerjee asked.

"He made false promises and is telling lies about pensions of tea workers. Whatever he is saying is not new and a scheme has been in existence. We have been providing benefits to them," she said.

She reiterated that the expiry date of the present Central government led by Modi will be over soon.

Responding to a query regarding Modi's comments on the lack of development in North Bengal, Banerjee said, "We have set up a new Secretariat and created new districts. Has he not seen these? We undertook several development projects in north Bengal districts. Has his government spent a single penny?"

Modi on Friday laid the foundation stone for a four-lane section of National Highway 31 D between Falakata and Salsalabari in Alipurduar district under the 'Bharatmala Pariyojana'.

"I have conducted over 50 meetings for the execution of the projects and there were so many problems. Work for this road construction has already been started, and now he is inaugurating it. This is election campaign," Banerjee said. - IANS