New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today came in for fulsome praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for her development work in the state, in an indication that she was being wooed by the BJP-led government at the Centre.
“My sister Mamata Banerjee is working really hard to undo the damage done in the past 35 years in West Bengal,” Modi said, replying to a debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address.
Earlier during the election campaign, Modi had attacked the Trinamool Congress government in the state on various issues, including the lack of development there.
Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar of Trinamool Congress, the fourth largest party with 34 members in the Lok Sabha, had earlier promised to cooperate with the Modi government if it worked to fulfil pro-people programmes.
“Whichever party is in power in any state, we will work on the basis of cooperative federalism,” he said in Parliament, adding that the development process needed to be carried out by “Team India”.
Advocating “healthy competition” among states and between states and the Centre on developmental activities, Modi said “my ears are eagerly awaiting to listen to statements like ‘my state's development model is better than that of Gujarat'”.
While referring to a member's statement that Tamil Nadu model was better than Gujarat's, he said this feeling of competition has been “the biggest contribution of the Gujarat model.”
Indicating that there was no unified Gujarat model, the Prime Minister said, “If I want to implement the model of development in the desert district of Kutch in the green district of Valsad, it will not work.”
He also appreciated Tamil Nadu for its rainwater harvesting initiatives, Chhattisgarh for its public distribution system, Kerala for its ‘kudumbashree' model and Nagaland for tribal development.
Modi specifically referred to Sikkim for promoting organic farming and said the state would soon become a “completely organic state”.