Mamata shifts focus to ‘her achievements’ in colleges

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Looking to divert the criticism by the print and electronic media, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other Trinamool Congress leaders today urged members of the party's students' union to spread the word about the government's achievements in colleges and universities across the state.

"Barring the time during Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examinations, there should be workshops at various block and district levels. It will not only reach the state level, we will also take it to the rest of the country," Mamata said at a workshop organised jointly by Trinamool Congress youth leaders and Yuva.

She said the information regarding developments brought about by the TMC government should be at their fingertips and should be used to 'bowl out' the united strength of CPM, Congress and BJP. However, it wasn't difficult to notice the discrepancy in her claim of the percentage of work done. Once she said it was 99 per cent complete and soon after she said it was 90 per cent done, according to what her election manifesto said. She said there should be a door-to-door campaign before the Panchayat elections.

Arriving about an hour and 15 minutes later than the scheduled time at the venue, Mamata lashed out at the Centre saying it takes away Rs 40,000 crore from the state as various taxes. "Let the state continue with its own funds so that it can manage its own expenses," she said.

Talking about the various job opportunities that she claimed have been created after her government came to power, she said she welcomed any challenge. "About 3 lakh jobs in the public sector and 8-10 lakh jobs in the private sector have been created. Anyone can challenge me regarding this. People go around filing PILs. Why don't they do so now?" she said.

Present at the occasion were all her regular cabinet ministers and MPs, including Suvendu Adhikary, Kunal Ghosh, Derek O' Brien, Firhad Hakim, Partha Chatterjee, Mukul Roy, Subrata Buxi, Jyotipriyo Mullick, Madan Mitra, Chandrima Bhattacharjee, mayor Sovan Chatterjee, state Trinamool Chhatra Parishad president Shankudeb Panda and All India Yuva president Abhishek Banerjee.

Prior to her arrival, the mood was set among the gathering by other TMC leaders. TMCP leader Saurav Chakraborty and MP Suvendu Adhikari compared Mamata with Mahatma Gandhi while the CM's nephew Abhisek Banerjee had not only picked up her style of going around the stage with a cordless microphone but has also inherited her aggressive mannerisms. "The media is not doing its duty. It is the responsibility of the students to take Trinamool to the national level," he said.

Mukul Roy said Mamata had been successful in areas where even Indira Gandhi wasn't. Mayor Sovan Chatterjee was visibly bored and tired before the CM arrived at the venue and was spotted yawning at least seven times during the warm-up speeches.

Mamata signed off saying that the ministers should be accessible over phone, at least till 11 in the night and then again from 9 am the next day. "I got a call from someone at 1 am last night who did not even speak. So I stored his number as 'ajana phone, paji' (unknown number, wicked person)," she said with a smile.

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