Trinamul MLAs Debasree Roy and Chiranjit in the House. Pictures by Sanat Kumar Sinha and Amit Datta
Calcutta, June 13: The governor today congratulated Mamata Banerjee’s government of “Ma-Mati-Manush”, mentioned its “aims” and plans, and pointed out the “wrongdoings” of the Left Front regime in his maiden speech in the Assembly.
“The voters gave a decisive mandate reflecting their political predictions and maturity. They voted against the policies and activities of the previous government, which had been in office for the past 34 years. The verdict is in favour of change with the objective of forming a government of Ma-Mati-Manush,” M.K. Narayanan said in his speech, which marked the beginning of the budget session of the 15th Assembly.
The governor began by condoling the death of the people “who lost their lives in various democratic movements, including in Singur, Nandigram, Netai and other places”.
Narayanan highlighted the “wrongdoings” of the Left Front government, mentioning the various ills that plagued the system. “Democratic organisations functioned under heavy odds during the past 34 years, with myriad complaints of wrongdoings being made by political parties, democratic institutions and the people. Democratic rights and citizens’ freedom were often jeopardised,” he said.
Left Front legislators, however, did not protest the unfavourable comments, sitting quietly even when the governor spoke about a “ruined economy”.
The governor said the new government was “committed to restoring democracy through good governance and adherence to established norms”.
“After 34 long years, the state has witnessed a change in the corridors of power…. I congratulate this government of Ma-Mati-Manush.”
On the “aims” of the new government, Narayanan said: “My government aims at an impartial, efficient and transparent administration, free from nepotism and corruption…. Police will be directed to act impartially while maintaining the democratic rights of the people and the freedom of individuals.”
After taking charge as chief minister, Mamata has sought to free the police and the administration from political control and has asked her party leaders to allow cops to work impartially.
Narayanan said the government “will take every means to see that anti-social forces and other unscrupulous persons do not interfere in law-and-order matters”. He said the police would be “directed to enlist the people’s cooperation in this primary task”.
His speech touched upon the chief minister’s announcement that a committee had been formed to “speed up the cases of release of political prisoners”. Narayanan said the government would “investigate political murders, torture, death in custody, corruption in high places and crime against people” committed under the Left regime.
Mamata’s slogan before the Assembly polls — “badla noy, badal chai (we don’t want revenge, we want change)” — found mention in Narayanan’s speech. “My government will not and will never take to the path of revenge and repression.”
The governor said the government would list investment proposals pending during the previous government’s regime and “seek ways to ensure that these are dealt with expeditiously”. He said “special emphasis” would be laid on IT industries, which would be “set up in Haldia, Durgapur, Kharagpur, Kalyani, Siliguri, etc”.
On the education sector, the governor said: “The primary aim of my government will be to bring back the best practices contributing to better primary education, which the earlier government interfered with, and restore an atmosphere conducive to imparting proper education.”
According to Narayanan, the government has “tentatively worked out a peaceful solution to the problem of the Darjeeling hills”.
Mamata had said the hill impasse had been solved but the use of the word “tentatively” in the governor’s speech suggests that the government had slightly reworked its stand as some contentious issues still remain.
Outside the House, Surjya Kanta Mishra, the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said the governor “basically read out the Trinamul Congress’s party literature and chanted its slogan”.