Left has made West Bengal bankrupt: Sonia

Salar: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that the CPI(M)-led Left Front government was siphoning off central funds and had turned West Bengal into a bankrupt State.

“In the last 34 years, crores of rupees have been given to West Bengal by the Centre for development, but the State remains backward. Where have central funds gone? Left Front is responsible for this,” Ms. Gandhi told an election rally at Salar in Murshidabad district during a whirlwind tour of the State on the second leg of her campaign.

Ms. Gandhi alleged that West Bengal was “siphoning off funds the Centre has given to the state,” for other purposes and the State remained backward.

“I am sorry to say that during the 34-year rule of the Left Front, West Bengal’s debt burden has grown to Rs two lakh crore and it has turned into a bankrupt State,” she alleged.

Attacking the State government for worsening the law and order, Ms. Gandhi alleged that common people were feeling insecure in the State.

“This government has duped the people with hollow promises all these 34 years. Don’t trust the Left Front any more and it should be taught a lesson this time,” she said.

Addressing the election meeting in the presence of party MP Adhir Chowdhury who is backing four rebel Congress candidates in the district, Ms. Gandhi urged the voters to support the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance candidates.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is an MP from the district, in a clear message to Mr. Chowdhury, called for ensuring the victory of all the 22 Congress candidates from there.

Eighteen rebel Congress candidates, including four sitting MLAs, have already been suspended from the party in the State.

Earlier, Ms. Gandhi addressed another rally at Nalhati in Birbhum district in support of Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit, where she claimed that West Bengal had been taken on a road to destruction under 34-years of Left rule and assured that the Congress-Trinamool alliance was determined to free the state from “misrule.”

The Congress chief alleged that the Left Front government was totally apathetic to the plight of the poor in the state where “no BPL card was given.”

She alleged that the welfare of farmers had stopped being important in the eyes of the government and violence against women was on the rise.

Ms. Gandhi had also campaigned in north Bengal on April 15.