A welcome directive

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given the State police a clear directive to deal firmly with anyone disturbing the peace, especially where setting up of new industries is concerned, irrespective of the political colour of the offenders. She gave expression to her annoyance and anger when she came to know that the main entrance to a new ship-building industry which is coming up at Titagarh with an investment of Rs. 700 crore has been encroached upon by a club which apparently enjoys the backing of a faction of the ruling Trinamool Congress. She publicly admonished the chairman of the Titagarh municipality and asked him to explain why the encroachers were not being evicted.
Factional feuds between different groups of the TMC over extortion of money and area domination is plaguing the party. The Chief Minister warned these faction leaders again and again to stop their feuds and behave themselves. But her warnings failed to produce results. Now she has asked the police to give a ‘good drubbing’ to the troublemakers whoever they may be and whatever their political identity may be. This will be welcomed by industrialists who want to set up new industries in the State. Extortion of prospective investors and insisting that they give employment to youths owing allegiance to faction leaders are the two major disincentives to invest in Bengal. This started during the Left Front rule and was the cause of the massive exodus of industries from the State. Future industrialization of the State is contingent on a climate of peace. Now that the CM has given the police a free hand, it is hoped encroachments on factory land and other problems will soon be cleared.
Mamata Banerjee is doing her level best to live down the State’s Left Front past and assure investors that West Bengal has again become an investment destination. Industrialization is a ‘must’ for West Bengal for creating jobs, for widening the revenue base and for ensuring the growth of a large number of ancillary industries. Petty-minded factional leaders of the ruling party are unable to see beyond the tips of their noses and look upon every prospective investor as a milch cow. It is for the political leadership of the government to assure the police and the administration that they can discharge their duties independently and without fear – something that was totally absent during the last days of the Left Front rule. That long-awaited signal has come. Industrialization should now pick up pace.

Thursday, 1 June, 2017