This Week West Bengal: The show under attack

The show under attack

Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif gave the Kolkata International Film Festival a dash of glamour. Soumitra Chatterjee calls it a circus. And Left Front chairman Biman Bose accuses the cash-strapped government of wasting public money when tea-garden workers in North Bengal are struggling with malnutrition and starvation. "There can be a change in the government but the character of the film festival should not change. The film festival cannot turn into a circus or a carnival," said Chatterjee, winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. And Bose said, "When tea-garden workers are demanding the right to commit suicide, the government has organised a grand party." The government has claimed it has provided rations and financial assistance to tea-garden workers, who have been complaining that the rations are inadequate and irregular.

Machine and gunfire

Loba, a village on the westernmost tip of West Bengal, was little-known till it hit the headlines after its inhabitants clashed with a police contingent. Villagers had taken custody of a company's machine, alleging it was being used for illegal coal mining, and the police had gone there to seize it. After villagers claimed police fired on them, news reports suggested that some police officers had told the media that industries minister Partha Chatterjee had sent them on the raid. Chatterjee denies the charge and also that any police firing took place. However, in a meeting, villagers told him police had indeed fired on them. Villagers alleged the mining company has engaged mafia men, mostly backed by the ruling Trinamool Congress, who were forcing them to sell their land cheap.

Deepa vs Trinamool

Deepa Dasmunsi, now Union MoS for Urban Development, sought to investigate the spending of Central funds by the Trinamool-controlled Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Trinamool leaders have hit back, saying, "The ignorant minister does not know the Constitution, which includes urban development in the state list, leaving no scope for the Centre to initiate an investigation." Dasmunsi, described by Mamata Banerjee as a "valueless minister", said she had sought a status report from the urban development secretary about the spending of funds released to West Bengal under JNNURM schemes as there were allegation about " a complete loot" in the KMC in the name of "turning Kolkata into London", a dream project of the chief minister.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.