From Singur to Singapore

August 23 2014

Kolkata will see municipality elections either at the end of this year or early next year, that is, in January 2015. Sensing the winds of change, Mamata didi wants to come across in a new political avatar. Didi ensures stays in touch with the rural populace, and especially Muslim and OBC voters. The panchayat elections in West Bengal already bear testimony to that. So now the challenge before didi and Trinamool is to attract the voters in towns and cities of Bengal, and that too at a time when the ‘bhadro manush’ (the genteel class) is leaning towards the BJP in a significant way. So didi suddenly played the Singapore card and returned from the country with her entourage on Saturday. She is claiming that 1200 Singapore companies are ready to invest in West Bengal and 13 MoUs have also been signed. But the moot question is that after the big controversy of acquiring land in Singur, have the necessary changes been made to the land acquisition laws. Because if that is not the case, which company would like to invest in the state after seeing what Tata had to go through. To publicise didi’s Singapore trip, a PR company was brought on board and money was spent without hesitation. Sources reveal that advertisements worth Rs one crore were given to Singapore’s national daily, Strait Times. When former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya had gone to Singapore, his booking was made for a single room in a hotel. For didi, five suites were booked at Singapore’s five-star hotel Shangri-La. When Rajasthan chief minister had gone there in the past, only 10 people were there in the entourage. Recently when Telengana’s chief minister went there, there were only 10 people in his team, too, and nine people in the Andhra Pradesh team. With didi, it was 104 people who went, of which 52 were business delegates, 40 media people and 12 officials. Didi is clearly aiming for the higher ground.

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