"2 Toilets For 400?": Mamata Banerjee Blasts Minister During Slum Visit

Adopting a completely new avatar, Bengal Chief Minister dropped by a Howrah slum and chatted with its residents on Monday.

 Share
EMAIL
PRINT
COMMENTS
'2 Toilets For 400?': Mamata Banerjee Blasts Minister During Slum Visit

Mamata Banerjee is reinventing herself as a more human-touch leader ahead of the state polls.


Kolkata: 

It could be the Prashant Kishor effect, an extension of his makeover plan as part of her "Didi Ke Bolo", or a deliberate change in style. But on Monday, Mamata Banerjee did something she had not in the last few years. She dropped by a slum in Howrah, walked into dingy homes and chatted with residents about the problems they faced.

The one that angered her most was the provision of just two toilets for the around 400 people living at the No. 2 Round Tank Puranabasti in Ward 29.

The West Bengal Chief Minister had stopped there on her way to an administrative meeting. When she got there, she took Minister for Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Firhad Hakim to task.

"Bobby, your department was told... I visited a basti on my way here. Four hundred families. Two toilets and bathrooms. Why? We give money for slum development. Who is the councillor? What's he doing?" she asked Mr Hakim, referring to him by his pet name.

There was momentary silence. Then someone told her that the local Trinamool councillor has been under arrest for murder since June 2017.

Ms Banerjee was undaunted. "So the councillor is in jail in some case. But the municipality is there. It is under an administrator. Why are you not overseeing the wards? I am telling you, in seven days you have to visit all the slum areas and fix their problems," she told Mr Hakim.

The Howrah Municipal Corporation is under an administrator because elections due in December last year have not been held yet.

"What is the problem with providing more bathrooms - six or eight at least?" she thundered. "Two bathrooms for 400 people. Can you imagine? What if that was the situation at your home? If there is a provision, why can't we provide? The civic body is under an administrator. Please start your work immediately," she thundered.

Ms Banerjee's next stop was Digha, a popular seaside tourist town in East Midnapore district, around 200 km from Kolkata. She broke with routine there too, and sat in an outdoor location with some senior party leaders and chatted with fishermen - enquiring about the problems they face as well as their children and education.

While the media followed Ms Banerjee during her visit, photographs as well as a video of her interactions were uploaded to a Trinamool Whatsapp group for the media.

There was no visible stamp of Prashant Kishor's group - IPAC - in today's breakout by Mamata Banerjee. Whether by his design or her own determination, Mamata Banerjee is certainly reinventing herself. She's becoming a softer, more considerate, more human-touch Mamata. A Mamata minus mercurial.



Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.

NDTV Beeps - your daily newsletter

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................