Kolkata: Taking strong exception to union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley taking a dig at West Bengal’s erstwhile Left Front government, the CPI-M on Sunday accused him of sending out feelers to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress. Speaking at the launch of the Bandhan Bank here, Jaitley sarcastically remarked that there was flight of capital from the state when it was painted ‘red’- the colour symbolising the Marxists, who spearheaded the Left Front. “I recollect my days from the younger years when I used to see this city painted red. And when it was painted red, of course new institutions were not being born,” he said, adding then the existing companies were shifting out and even intellectuals were leaving the state.
Attributing the Left Front policies for Bandhan’s growth into a bank from a micro finance institution, Communist Party of India-Marxist MP Mohammad Salim slammed Jaitley for his barbs. “Despite participating in a private event, Jaitley preferred to look out for political colors, which are unwarranted. Bandhan has become what it is today not because Jaitley is at the centre or her friend Mamata is ruling Bengal.
“It is because, for the last two decades self help groups have flourished and the rural economy of the state has improved. Jaitley must be aware of the history, Because of the impetus to ground level entrepreneurship (by the Left) Bandhan is Bandhan now,” said Salim. “Actually by saying all this he is sending out a message to Mamata Banerjee that look I am an opponent of the CPI-M,” he added. State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury did not find Jaitley’s assurances of contributing towards Bengal development convincing. “As a finance minister he is suppose to ensure that politics doesn’t come in between the state’s development, his assurances are welcome. But what are the centre’s plan for Bengal. We did not hear anything from him on that,” said Chowdhury.