The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Unite-for-state sermon to parties

Calcutta, Sept. 4: Former chief minister Jyoti Basu today underscored the need for collaboration between the ruling CPM and the Opposition, including Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress, for the development of Calcutta and the rest of Bengal.

“All political parties contest elections on the strength of separate political agendas. However, as and when they get to occupy important offices, they cannot pursue the same agendas because they are expected to rise above sectarian politics and work for the development of all sections of society,” Basu said.

He was laying the foundation stone of Avishikta Housing Complex, a project of Bengal Peerless Housing Development (the joint venture between Peerless General Finance and West Bengal Housing Board) on the EM Bypass near the Rashbehari connector.

“The CPM-led Left Front has run the state for 25 years. But it is also true that Trinamul runs the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and many municipalities, as does the Congress. In the present environment, neither the ruling party nor the Opposition can continue to enjoy the people’s support if they do not cooperate for popular development,” Basu added.

The former chief minister stressed on joint sector housing projects and infrastructure development of the city and said confrontation between the government and Opposition would hamper the development of Calcutta. “When B.C. Roy was the chief minister, we had extended support to his government on various issues,” he said.

“The mayor has come here. The project falls under the CMC and his assistance is required for its advancement,” Basu said. Subrata Mukherjee was the chief guest at the function. Spread over four acres, the project is the largest housing and commercial complex in south Calcutta in recent times.

Mukherjee, on his part, praised Basu for the development of both sides of EM Bypass. “Soon the bypass will become a part of the main city,” the mayor observed. “As B.C. Roy is praised for Salt Lake, Jyoti Basu will be praised for the development of EM Bypass.”

The mayor said it is difficult for the government alone to take the responsibility for development works. “The new trend in the world is joint sector projects,” he observed.

Both Basu and housing minister Goutam Deb said Bengal Peerless and other joint sector housing firms will be expected to play a crucial role in societal development by setting up projects where LIG and MIG housing would get equal importance.

However, the “government must also help individuals and cooperatives to build houses”, Deb pointed out. Stating that the joint housing projects were aimed at controlling real estate prices, he said the government was trying to curb the promoter raj.

“Now the promoters must be registered with the housing department,” he said.

Speaking about the project, K.S. Bagchi, managing director, Bengal Peerless Housing Development, said the project will have 358 apartments. The unique feature of Avishikta is 60 per cent of the area will be kept vacant.

Basu blasts Jaya tirade

Basu today rubbished ADMK leader Jayalalithaa’s attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the issue of her foreign origin. “We (CPM) are not making this an issue though we have ideological differences with the Congress,” Basu said. “Sonia has already become a citizen of India. It is up to the Congress to chose its leader,” he added.

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