The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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House opens to noisy scene

Calcutta, Feb. 2: Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi today inaugurated the budget session of the Assembly amid loud protests from the Congress and Trinamul Congress.

It was the governor's first address in the House after he took over from Viren J. Shah. This session is the last in the present Left Front government’s tenure.

Soon after the governor entered the House at 3 pm today, Trinamul MLAs started shouting slogans against the government. Displaying placards, Trinamul legislators rushed to the well and tried to prevent the governor from reading his speech.

They shouted slogans against the “misrule” of the government and alleged deterioration of law and order, existence of fake ration cards, unemployment and growing criminal activities in the state.

The Congress MLAs also shouted slogans and displayed posters but did not leave their seats. The governor, however, continued to read his speech ignoring the chaos.

The governor said Maoist activists pose a serious problem. “The Left-wing extremism in Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore districts has continued to pose serious problem to the state administration.

“The CPI (Maoist) groups are trying to reorganise, both at underground and open levels. They have accumulated a sizeable arms and ammunition and are trying to create a compact revolutionary zone, to be used as a corridor from Andhra Pradesh to Nepal,” he said.

“To combat this, the state government has laid major stress on comprehensive socio-economic development programmes in the poorest villages of the region.”

The governor said the state government was keeping a close watch on international borders with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The governor said unrest by KLO militants in north Bengal is on the wane and efforts are on to rehabilitate extremists who have surrendered in the Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts and to integrate them in the mainstream.

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