Union ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Babul Supriyo today denounced West Bengal government's alleged non-cooperation with the Centre, dubbing it as "direct insult to the federal structure" of the country.
The two Union ministers carped at the state government following the latter's failure to participate in a Union labour ministry function for inauguration of a new building of Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) regional office here.
West Bengal Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak and TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar along with some other leaders were invited to attend the function but they had given it a miss, triggering the ire of the two central ministers.
"It is a function of workers and the matter is related to the development of the state. How does politics come in it? All parties and people are involved in it," rued Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya while speaking at the function, expressing his displeasure over the state government's gesture.
Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo lambasted the state government saying, "I myself had requested Moloy Ghatak to be present at this function where we can discuss with the Union labour minister various pending projects in the state, including an ESI hospital in Asansol. Even today I tried my best to get him over phone, but in vain."
"This attitude of non-cooperation is nothing but an insult to the federal structure. Why will development in the state be affected and people will suffer for this?" he asked.
Besides inaugurating the Rs 60 crore new ESIC regional office building, Dattatreya also laid the foundation stone for upgrading the ESI Hospital at Baltikuri in Howrah district at a cost of Rs 187 crore and the ESI Hospital at Durgapur at a cost of Rs 30 crore.
He announced to set up a 150-bed ESI super speciality hospital at Asansol at an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore.
Besides, two more ESI hospitals will come up at Kharagpur in West Midnapore district and Shyamnagar in North 24- Parganas district, he said.
Dattatreya said ESI schemes are now fully operational in West Bengal's 12 districts and partly operational in four others, while the remaining districts will be covered soon.
"Five lakh new registrations have already been done in West Bengal. We don't want to mix politics with development. People will suffer if development is stuck up," he said.
Union Labour Secretary M Sathiyavathy said how Centre was trying to extend social security among the entire working population.
"We are striving hard to bring all workers under the coverage of our plan," she said.
ESIC Director General Heera Lal Samariya helped the ministers understand the upgraded infrastructure in the new ESIC regional office building.