3M slogan out of MK speech

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  • Published 16.03.12

Calcutta, March 15: The Mamata Banerjee government today pruned from the governor’s budget session speech the slogan that marked its rise to power and later became the all-weather buzzword that party leaders never tired of repeating.

Governor M.K. Narayanan’s address to the Assembly that marked the beginning of the budget session today did not mention the Trinamul Congress-led dispensation as the ma-mati-manusher government — a departure from last year’s speech.

The governor’s speech, which is prepared by the government, merely referred to the new administration as “my government’’.

Asked about the reason for the change, a senior Trinamul minister said: “Mamata rode to success on the ma-mati-manush slogan. It was a political coinage. Our leader wanted to make that slogan official by incorporating it in the governor’s address last year. But this year, we didn’t want to focus on the slogan. That’s because our government is into its tenth month in power and our performance is showing. We have listed our achievements and our policies in the governor’s address. According to Mamata, that was enough.’’

Narayanan had congratulated the “government of ma-mati-manush’’ while delivering his address to the Assembly last June. “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 34 years. The verdict is in favour of change with the objective of forming a government of ma-mati-manush. I congratulate this government of ma-mati-manush,’’ he had said.

Today’s address had no mention of the prickly issues for which the government has received flak — the law-and-order situation, the Park Street rape, the alleged rape of a woman in Katwa, farmer suicides and crib deaths.

A Trinamul legislator said omitting any mention of the law-and-order situation was the “custom”. “We are meant to list our achievements in our address,” he added.

The CPM criticised the omission. “The state is in the grip of anarchy. People are being attacked, many are being killed by Trinamul goons. Women are being harassed, molested and raped. Colleges have turned into battlefields. But there was no mention of any of these in the governor’s address,’’ leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra told a media conference on the Assembly lawn. “The speech was full of lies and half truths.’’

A Trinamul general secretary said the CPM should “keep its mouth shut” as its government had “never mentioned the Bantala and Phoolbagan rape incidents” in the governor’s addresses during the late Jyoti Basu’s tenure.

“No government will talk about incidents that can embarrass it. When 13 Youth Congress workers were killed in police firing in the early nineties, did the CPM government mention that in the governor’s address? The party should keep its mouth shut,’’ he said.

Narayanan’s address referred to the appointment of N.R. Narayana Murthy as the chief mentor of the government’s two advisory committees on information technology while explaining that IT was a “priority sector’’.

The speech was, however, silent on the Infosys project and the government’s objection to SEZ status for it.