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Centre Trying to Establish ‘Agency Raj’, Deterring Job Creation: Mamata

KOLKATA — Two days after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized Rs 17.32 crore in cash from the residence of a city- based businessman in connection with a mobile gaming app fraud case, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee echoed her Cabinet colleagues in slamming the recent central agency activities in the state.

“The Union government does not want more jobs to be created. An attempt is being made to establish an ‘Agency Raj’. There is absolutely no development,” the Chief Minister said at an event to hand over appointment letters to various beneficiaries under ‘Utkarsh Bangla’, a skill development scheme of the state government, at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here.

She also launched a scathing attack on the Centre over disinvestment of government stake in public sector entities.

“The Union government is selling Railways, SAIL and CIL. How will new jobs be created? In the midst of this Agency Raj, we are trying to develop industries and create jobs in the state. I am proud that after being trained here, the youth of West Bengal are getting job offers from outside. I request those who are going outside to come back to the state as there will be enough jobs in West Bengal only,” the Chief Minister said.

She also attacked the opposition parties in the state and the media for showing West Bengal in poor light.

“They are always resorting to slander. Had they highlighted the positive works of the state government, both Bengal and its people would have benefited,” Banerjee said.

Ever since the sezure of large amount of cash by the ED on Saturday, Trinamool Congress leaders have been slamming the recent central agency activities in the state.

When the counting of notes was on on Saturday, state minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim had said that the continuous raids and search operations by the central agencies were part of the Centre and BJP’s ploy to show West Bengal in poor light.

“Such excessive central agency actions, in my opinion, is a ploy to send a negative image about West Bengal to potential investors,” Hakim said.

Soon after that, veteran Trinamool leader Lok Sabha MP Saugata Roy had said that the ED raids were deliberately meant to deprive Trinamool from any assistance from the business community in the future.

“This is not happening just in case of Trinamool Congress. This happens in any state which is not ruled by the BJP. The idea is to conduct raids and search operations at the premises of businessmen so that they refrain from helping the Trinamool in the future,” Roy had said on Saturday. — IANS

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