August 27, 2010

'Elect Left Front to Continue Urban Development'


By B Prasant

THE Bengal Left Front has appealed to the masses to vote in the Left Front in the May 30 municipal polls to continue urban development, to carry on the democratic flourishing, and to foil conspiratorial moves to disrupt the peaceful, amicable, and democratic ambience of Bengal.

Left Front chairman Biman Basu released the election manifesto of the Front at a press conference in Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan on May 3. Like in the past, he also released a separate manifesto for the election to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

The Left Front manifesto started by sketching in the anti-people scenario set up by the Congress run UPA 2 government of which Trinamul Congress is a partner. The civic polls were placed in the present complex national political situation, financial malfeasance, and economic crisis, where the burden of the amir aadmi was shifted with casual ease onto the groaning shoulders of the aam aadmi.

From bodies that were dying of funds and were run by officer-administrators, the urban local bodies under Left Front had become vibrant local self-governments with 50 per cent of the plan budget being decentralised for plan formulation and plan implementation. The allocation per citizen in the civic bodies stands now at Rs 200 as against less-than a rupee during the Congress regimes. The plan budget of around Rs 4900 crore for the urban local bodies by the LF government has resulted in appropriate improvement of urban facilities, and adequate participation of various citizen bodies over and above the elected commissioners/councillors/ward committees. This was democracy at work at the grassroots’ level, the manifesto underlined.


The Left Front chairman Biman Bose has appealed to the people of Kolkata to re-elect the pro-people Left Front in the coming polls to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in order to carry on the good work done by the present board. He was speaking to the media on May 3 at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan in the presence of leaders of other LF constituents after releasing a separate election manifesto of the Left Front for the KMC.

Kolkata has been described as a miniature India with people of every description living peacefully together. With years, especially after the tragedies across the border to the east in 1947, 1965, and 1971, the population of the metro has continued to grow at a fast rate. The Left-run boards of the KMC, first elected to office in 1971, have been engaged in looking after the city, the denizens, and the cityscape with intimate care. Interspersed with Left governance has been Congress, and later, much later, the Trinamuli brand of uniquely destructive indulgence to loot and anarchy, with election results often reflecting the class composition of the city.

The metro houses billionaires by the hundreds – but at the heart of the city are the teeming millions of the toiling masses. One out of three citizens of Kolkata lives in bustees (slums). The Left has a set-piece policy for the bustees. It does not do away with them — it makes them habitable with supply of potable drinking water, sewerage and drainage systems and electricity.

Bikash Bhattacharyya, the incumbent mayor of Kolkata, was telling us the other day with a gleam of understandable satisfaction in his voice that not a single bustee remained in the metro now without a steady power supply — the series of lampposts from which shine bright orange light of sodium vapour lamp in the dense of the population of the Linton street area is one piece of evidence that bear Bikash up. Such examples abound as does the instance where pucca buildings were made available to the slum dwellers under the bustee improvement scheme.

Biman Basu said that just as the metro would not stand in the way of shopping arcades, the focus would be on improving the civic amenities of the toiling masses and the working people. The task has been made tougher than usual with the pro-rich slant of the union budget with its disparate tax structure, heavily biased against the poor. The counter-development legacy of the right reactionary-run boards of the KMC in the past has created a burden on the present board. Yet, whereas the previous board – a conglomerate of Pradesh Congress-Trinamul Congress-BJP, could create an asset of but Rs 499 crore, the present LF-led KMC has created an asset worth Rs 1900 crore.

The resent board has been run on a democratic basis. Each step and every decision has seen the participation of the board led by the mayor-in-council. This is in stark contrast to the anarchy that had prevailed during the previous board’s functioning where malfeasance and disorder were the expected norm rather than otherwise. Much has been achieved by the pro-people and pro-poor board the present KMC, and much remains to be done. Biman Basu called upon the electorate to vote in the Left Front with a big majority, defeating the forces of reaction.


Meanwhile, throughout the day, April 28, Pradesh Congress goons were beating the heck out of each other over the puzzlesome query as to who was Didi to dictate terms for seat adjustments.

Interestingly enough, the Pradesh Congress vandals broke into the Pradesh Congress office on CIT Road near the Moulali crossing, wrecked large parts of the well-appointed office, and smashed up cars and mini-vans except that of one particular elderly, ex-college teacher, Pradesh leader.

Didi’s offices were virtually gheraoed by irate Trinamuli lumpens who would not have the ‘ticket’ given to a woman candidate politically close to a Pradesh Congress leader who in turn is a great practitioner of the law of turncoat.

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