The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Stand still

Sir — Writers’ Building witnessed an outrageous scene when the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Partha Chatterjee, and two other Trinamul Congress legislators called for the arrest of the “killer chief minister”, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, without any specific charge against him (“Trinamul in CM siege”, Oct 17). They started a sit-in in front of Bhattacharjee’s office, which is a restricted zone. It is unfortunate that the office of the state administration was transformed by these politicians into a fish market. Such behaviour from a responsible Opposition leader is ludicrous. The line of action taken by Chatterjee under the direction of the TMC chief, Mamata Banerjee, was similar to that adopted by the latter in 1992 during the chief ministership of Jyoti Basu. She had then demanded justice for a deaf and dumb rape victim.

Emboldened by a series of victories in various elections, Banerjee is taking resort to violent means to oust the ruling Left Front government. This is not good for the state. By practising such negative politics, Banerjee might come to power. But, in that case, the people will be the worst sufferers since she will then repeat the mistakes of the present ruling party. This will push economic development of the state to the back-burner. In spite of Bhattacharjee’s sincere efforts of industrialization, three of India’s biggest corporate houses — Tata Motors, Wipro and Infosys — have already retreated from the state because of the stiff resistance from the TMC to land acquisition. Fearing the erosion of its vote bank, the TMC is avoiding conciliatory proceedings with the ruling government to sort out the land acquisition issue.

Strangely, the politicians are oblivious to the unemployment problem in the state. The cover story in The Telegraph (“Jobless dam bursts in city”, Oct 14) portrayed the abysmal condition of employment in West Bengal. Nine lakh aspirants jostled for 4,013 Group D posts. Leaving all these socio-economic issues aside, the leaders are engaged in a political nautanki. We know that till the 2011 assembly elections, worse agonies are in store for us. Frequent blockades of roads and railways will continue to bother people.

On October 16, we had to face extreme inconvenience from 5 pm to 6 pm near the Gouribari bridge as the TMC supporters had blocked roads and were burning effigies of the chief minister. Similar blockades were heard of in Baguiati, Kaikhali and on VIP road leading to the airport. The airport authorities were benevolent enough to reschedule a few flights, unlike those of the railways. All these unwanted dharnas and strikes simply send the wrong signals to prospective investors and slow down economic development of the state. We hope that truth dawns on the leaders soon and they work for the people who have voted them to power.

Yours faithfully,
Subhankar Mukherjee, Borehat, Burdwan

Sir — I have just returned from Bodoland in Assam where I witnessed three bandhs in a week, but each of those were announced well in advance. In West Bengal, however, an impromptu road blockade was called by the TMC because of the arrest of its leader, Partha Chatterjee. The TMC has already built a strong base in Bengal. So is it causing such inconveniences for the public in order to test its potency in the state? I fear that we may have to face many more bandhs and road blockades till 2011. Let us not forget that the public constitutes the base of the party and if people become disgruntled, the party will lose its power. This is what each and every political outfit should keep in mind — a government is for the people and not exclusively for the politicians. The latter should think over the merits and demerits of such instant bandhs.

Yours faithfully,
Biswendu Saha, Kumarganj, South Dinajpur

Sir — The sudden roadblock caused by the Opposition inconvenienced city-dwellers to a great extent. I was returning home in the evening from Lord Sinha Road with a friend, and we faced trouble because of the blockade. The situation remained the same for nearly two hours, and we had no option but to walk a great distance to reach home. This was what every single person out on the streets during that period of time had to face. Satisfying a party’s interests at the cost of the citizens is a shameful act indeed.

Yours faithfully,
Ishita Chatterjee, Calcutta

Sir — The TMC leaders have asked whether the chief minister’s order to arrest those who besieged his office was a democratic one. But what is democracy? It is a system of governance in which power resides in the people. But when the head of the state elected by the people issues orders to arrest an Opposition leader, and the Opposition paralyses public roads in anger, can democracy be said to have prevailed?

Yours faithfully,
Bhaskar Banerjee, Baruipur

Sir — Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had earlier described Mamata Banerjee’s demand for his arrest as a “juvenile disorder.” Subsequently, Partha Chatterjee raided Writers’ Building with his colleagues to demand Bhattacharjee’s arrest. Bhattacharjee could have made it clear that this was not the proper procedure to get anyone arrested. Instead, he described the happenings as a “circus” and threw the agitators out of the state secretariat. So, he behaved like an adult delinquent himself. What benefit will this bring except more protests by the Opposition?

Yours faithfully,
Diptimoy De, Calcutta

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