January 2, 2009

West Bengal good for investors, says Somnath Chatterjee

Kolkata, Dec 31 (IANS): Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who has been expelled from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Wednesday supported the Left coaltion government in the state, saying the situation in West Bengal was suitable for investment. “A malicious campaigning is now being carried out across the nation that West Bengal is not suitable for industrialisation. I strongly disagree with this view. I believe the state has a very congenial environment for welcoming investment in future,” he said.

Chatterjee, who became the speaker of the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004, was expelled from the CPI-M on the ground of “seriously compromising” its position during the tussle between the Left parties and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the India-US civil nuclear agreement. The CPI-M politburo took action against the speaker under Article 19 (13) of the party constitution. But Chatterjee’s statement Wednesday was in support of the state’s Leftist government led by the CPI-M.

In an oblique reference to the Trinamool Congress-led opposition to the Nano small car project that saw its promoters, Tata Motors, pull out of West Bengal, Chatterjee also said there should not be any conflict in the matter of development in West Bengal.

“Development is not a matter of confrontation. We, irrespective of different political hues, should come forward and unanimously encourage development in West Bengal,” Chatterjee said at the closing ceremony of 22nd Industrial India Trade Fair.

“A healthy political environment is needed when our country is facing a lot of hurdles. I really feel that in 1971, when I first became a member of the Lok Sabha, politics was totally a different subject. People used to think about the inclusive development of the masses and they were mostly inspired by patriotic feelings,” he said, adding people worked towards the betterment of their nation that time.

“But, unfortunately, now it’s missing,” Chatterjee said, criticising the “fractured polity” of India.
“If any development takes place in certain area, a large number people in that region get benefited by that. The advantage of any developmental venture is not restricted in political colour,” the veteran politician said.

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