West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee chose to highlight the economic and industrial development of the state under her leadership to reaffirm her claims of the state being peaceful and took a dig at the Centre and the BJP, accusing them of trying to defame the state without explicitly referring to any of them.
Speaking at the inauguration of ITC’s latest super premium luxury hotel, ITC Royal Bengal, she said, “Politically, you can say anything about Bengal, but in terms of economic development and others, Bengal is much ahead. If Bengal is bad, how one lakh acre of land bank, meant for the industry, is getting exhausted? Why are people investing in this state and such (luxury) hotels are coming up here? Businessmen don’t want to be in losses”.
Her comments came in wake of the recent incident in Sandeshkhali, where three BJP supporters and one TMC supporter allegedly lost their lives in a violent clash on Saturday, prompting the Centre to issue an advisory to the state government to bring the situation under control and take adequate steps against officials found delinquent in the discharge of their duty.
Mamata drew the connection between peace, industry and hotels by implying that unless a state is peaceful, it cannot attract industry and investment and if it fails to attract business, businessmen and investors, how can luxury hotels survive in the state.
Fifteen years ago, ITC inaugurated its luxury hotel ITC Sonar inj Kolkata. This was followed by JW Marriot and Swissotel entering the city and now, ITC has inaugurated its second super luxury hotel here.
In the 2019 edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), the Banerjee government is stated to have received investment proposals worth Rs 2.84 trillion while in 2018, proposals worth Rs 2.19 trillion were received. This is despite no union minister attending the BGBS in the recent past and Modi, alongwith other union ministers and the BJP repeatedly accusing the Banerjee administration of corruption, violence and blocking the economic development of West Bengal.
Referring to the BJP and those who have expressed their anguish over the law and order situation in the state, Banerjee said, “Some people are deliberately trying to defame Bengal”.
As a means to face the mounting political opposition from the BJP and other parties, she urged the investors and industrialists from this state present on the inauguration of the luxury hotel to speak “good things” about the state.
“When you go to other states, tell them how well Bengal is doing. What the state was 34 years ago and what it has become now. People are bad mouthing about Bengal”, she said.
Earlier in the day, Banerjee, in a separate event had claimed that a plot was underway to turn Bengal into Gujarat and its rich heritage and legacy is under attack from outsiders.