Bengal's future rests with Congress
Jalpaiguri/Englishbazar: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has accused the Left Front government of ruining West Bengal and failing to utilise central funds for development.
She also called for a change of regime, saying the future of the state rested upon the shoulders of the Congress and the Trinamool Congress.
Addressing election meetings in northern parts of the state, Gandhi attacked the Left Front government for its inability to usher in development, and alleged that West Bengal did not have proper irrigation facilities, while drinking water was not available to one-third of the population.
Speaking at an election rally in the northern West Bengal town of Jalpaiguri, Gandhi said: "Now the time has come to change the regime in the state".
"I appeal to the people to cast their votes in favour of the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance," she said, "Though the central government has released enough funds for the state, the results are nowhere to be seen."
Later, in another meeting at Englishbazar in Malda district, she said the Congress and Trinamool wanted to change West Bengal for the better.
"Along with [Trinamool chief] Mamataji [Banerjee] we want to change the environment in Bengal.
"The future of Bengal rests upon the shoulders of the Congress and the Trinamool."
Gandhi said: "Why is the condition of the state worsening? With [hard-working] and skilful people like you in abundance, should the condition of this state be like this?
"The [LF major] CPI-M [Communist Party of India-Marxist] has totally ruined the state."
"From farmers to labourers to workers in the unorganised sector, the condition of all is miserable but the state government is not bothered." said Gandhi after wishing the people "Shubho nabo borsho" (Happy New Year) on Bengali New Year's Day.
Training her guns on the 34-year Left Front rule, she said: "What should I say about the state of irrigation, drinking water and electricity in Bengal? You are more aware than me.
"The public distribution system is in a shambles. In spite of financial help from the centre, the government here has done nothing towards development.
"You should ask them why they have been sitting on the central funds all these years."