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Games mess has brought shame to India: Buddhadeb

Ananya Dutta

“Status is a metaphor for situation across India”

— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Polit Buro member Brinda Karat (left) and chairperson of the West Bengal unit of the AIDWA Shamali Gupta at a rally in Kolkata

KOLKATA: Strongly criticising the Congress that has been in power at the Centre for the longest duration for the state of affairs of the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said here on Friday that the status of the Commonwealth Games was a metaphor for the situation across India.

“Some officials of the Commonwealth Games have pilfered crores of rupees. Many of the stadiums are not ready. Those that were constructed are falling apart,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said.

He said that the mess over the Games had “brought shame to India” and pointed to the example of China which hosted a successful Beijing Olympics and were ready to host the Asian games in November this year.

Speaking at a rally that started off the three-day State conference of the West Bengal unit of the All-India Democratic Women's Association, Mr. Bhattacharjee also pointed out that the condition of women in China was far better than in India.

“In China, women are able to stand side by side with men, whether it is in factories, universities or sports,” he said.

He also launched a scathing attack on the Trinamool Congress, telling the audience that the time had come to assert that the State would not follow the path of an “unruly, lawless political party” that functioned through “an army of hooligans.”

Mr. Bhattacharjee was also critical of the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's visit to Darjeeling late last month where she was warmly received by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which has been spearheading the recent agitation demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.

“On the one hand she [Ms. Banerjee] has joined hands with the Maoists and on the other she is joining ranks with those who are setting alight the Darjeeling hills.” He wondered whether Ms. Banerjee wanted to divide the State.

“The railways are running only as advertisements in newspapers with a new inauguration everyday — everyday there are lies and everyday there is an ad,” he said.

Raising issues faced by women, including the lack of employment, Mr. Bhattacharjee also spoke about the recent “honour killings” of young women in north Indian States such as Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. “In West Bengal, girls cannot be killed by their families this way,” he said.

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