The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Buddha sermon on free classes

Balurghat, Sept. 29: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today urged college teachers to teach their students “beyond college hours” and also “at home” for gratis.

“Your relations with students should not be economic,” Bhattacharjee said, inaugurating the annual conference of the West Bengal College and University Teachers Association (WBCUTA) at Balurghat College.

The chief minister, who was here on a two-day visit to Dinajpur and Malda, said teachers should take on more responsibilities and keep the interest of students in mind.

“Bearing the students in mind, you should teach them beyond college hours. If necessary, give them lessons at home the way our teachers had given us, but it should be totally free,’’ he said.

Bhattacharjee said the ruling Left Front government had hiked the salaries of college teachers in recognition of the role they played in spreading higher education. “We have made sure that the college teachers get paid on time. There is hardly any complaint of the teachers not receiving their salaries.”

Earlier in the day, Bhattacharjee, addressing a public rally at Gangarampur stadium, vowed to fight the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation “to the end”. He said the KLO, like its ally United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa), was trying to create disturbances es in north Bengal.

“They are trying to create an atmosphere of terror in Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar. But we are determined to stop them. Let’s see what they can do to our state,” the chief minister said, in a challenge to the militant organisation responsible for the slayings of five CPM men in Dhupguri on August 17.

The chief minister also held out sops for the region that has few industries. “Siliguri has got industries. Work has begun in Jalpaiguri too. I am inaugurating a silk thread-manufacturing unit in Malda tomorrow. It’s a major project. Similar industrial units will be undertaken in Dakshin Dinajpur as well,” he said.

Admitting the lack of rail link in back-of-beyond Balurghat, he said the government was fully aware of communication bottlenecks. “The district has lost out on industrialisation largely because of the absence of railway connection. However, this problem will be solved shortly because work is on in full swing to put Dakshin Dinajpur on the railway map,” he added.

The chief minister, however, took a dig at the Centre for the “long-standing neglect meted out to the district in the past 55 years”. Had New Delhi been a little sensitive, the rail link would have come about long ago, he added. He was critical of the Congress for all the ills plaguing the country, adding that the Left Front’s biggest achievement till date is rural land reforms.

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