Peasants in Bengal saw more development than other states: CM

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Jalpaiguri, Dec 17 (UNI) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today held that the development of peasants in the state was more than any other state.

Speaking on the sidelines of the coming Panchayat elections on the last day of the 21st District Open Committee meeting here, Mr Bhattacharjee said that peasants in the state were making profit, while those in the neighbouring states committed suicide due to ''lack of support from the government.'' He further said that a meeting will be held in New Delhi on December 19 to discuss plans for further development of the peasants during the next five years.

However, he maintained that besides agriculture, industry needs to be developed in the state as well, since farming cannot develop without the development of industry.

He also added that ISPAT has offered to set up seven manufacturing units, including one in Salbani, two in Purulia and two more in Bardhaman.

He also reiterated that the Left Front government wanted to develop Singur and Nandigram in the same way as they have developed other villages. ''I wanted to create a second Haldia in Nandigram,'' he said.

In this connection he said, ''We will not set up the chemical hub in Nandigram, but we will, however, establish it in Nayachar,'' where they were plans to set up a textile industry.

The Chief Minister said the seven jute mills have already been set up in Coochbehar, only showing the development that has taken place in the state, while adding that a fully functional airport will come into existance here within the next year.

Mr Bhattacharjee said his government has laid emphasis on promoting tea tourism in North Bengal.

Besides, speaking on work done by the state government for uplifting the women, he said 6,04,000 Self Help Groups were presently helping 56 lakh women all over the state.

In addition, he said, a relief fund of Rs one crore had been set aside for the peasants of Nandigram.

Among those present in today's meeting included Industry and Commerce Minister Nirupam Sen, Backward Welfare Minister Jogesh Burman and Jalpaiguri CPM district secretary Manik Sanyal.

In total 405 delegates from different areas of the district attended the meeeting today.


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