Congress accuses West Bengal government of misrule

April 5th, 2009 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) The Congress, in a report released Sunday, accused the Left Front government of failing to provide basic amenities in West Bengal.
The report titled ‘30 years of Left Front rule in West Bengal: A development report card’ was released by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The report alleges that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led government failed to provide proper health, education and generate employment in the state.

“Even after 30 years of Left rule, West Bengal has very high levels of hunger and malnutrition when compared to the rest of India,” said the report.

Referring to a recent study led by Jean Dreze and Angus Deaton, the report said: “West Bengal has the highest rate of hunger in rural households among major Indian states.”

The report, quoting the state government’s Human Development Report said: “Married women in West Bengal, on average, have a lower body-mass index than the average Indian women, suggesting greater undernourishment. Married women in the state also have a greater likelihood of suffering from anaemia than the average Indian woman.”

“After 30 years of Left rule, negligible new employment is being created in West Bengal, even as other states are forging ahead,” it said, citing the economic census 2005 on average annual growth in employment in enterprise other than corp production.

“Fourteen out of West Bengal’s 18 districts are among the 100 poorest districts in India,” it said.

The poorest district in India is Murshidabad in West Bengal, where 56 percent of the people live in abject poverty.

An astonishing 1.47 percent of India’s rural poor live in this one district alone, said the report quoting a study by Indian statistical institute for the ministry of statistics and programme implementation.

The Congress’ report said only a quarter of households in West Bengal have access to safe drinking water, which is far less than other comparable states.

“Less than half the habitations in West Bengal are connected by pucca (paved) roads, which is far less than other comparable states.”

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