A political career that has been entirely built on chasing out a private company from the state and refusing to let it set up a factory to facilitate the economic movement — West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s life has come a full circle as she invites vaccine manufacturers to drop anchor in the eastern state. Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote that her government is ready to provide land and all the required support for manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines.
“…Also, it may kindly be considered if we could encourage the world players to open up franchise operations in our country. Even the national players could be inspired to go for the franchisee mode for bulk production of vaccines We, in West Bengal. are ready to provide land and support for any manufacturing/franchisee operation for authentic vaccine manufacturing. I would request you to kindly consider the proposition.” read the letter, full of typos.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Narendra Modi, urging to 'speedily import vaccines' from global manufacturers
She suggests PM Modi to 'encourage world & national players (vaccine manufacturers) to open up franchise operations'. pic.twitter.com/Ss2sQLX2xi
— ANI (@ANI) May 12, 2021
It was Singur where the Left government forcibly tried to build the Tata Nano plant, only for Mamata Banerjee to fully exploit the issue and throw away the hegemonic communist regime after 34-years and storm into power. However, farmers of Singur have been regretting their support for Mamata’s political movement in 2008, ever since.
It has been Mamata’s socialist mindset that has trampled the growth story of Bengal over the years. Despite having clocked two consecutive terms and now preparing for another five years at the office, Mamata has failed to push the growth locomotive of Bengal.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had raised the issue during the election trail and questioned Mamata for letting Bengal slip down the ladder.
“At the time of independence, Bengal’s share in India’s industrial production stood at 30 per cent. Today, it has come down to a mere 3.5 per cent. I want to ask Mamata Didi and the communists: who is responsible for this?” said Amit Shah in a press conference on December 20 last year whilst adding, “In 1960, Bengal’s per capita income was 105 per cent of Maharashtra. Now, it’s not even half.”
Mamata’s request to allow vaccine manufacturers to set camp in Bengal has arisen from a place of desperation. Her inefficient handling of the covid cases during both waves has been abysmal, to say the least.
As reported by TFI, with only 60,000 tests being conducted daily on an average and a positivity rate in excess of 30 per cent, it is miracle that Bengal is only touching 20,000+ cases, as thousands of cases continue to go underreported.
When the positivity rate in Delhi was hovering around the 25 per cent mark, people were falling like flies and hospitals were filled to the brim. While the capital city’s health resources were tested to the hilt, one can imagine what would currently be happening to the dilapidated health infrastructure of West Bengal, which Mamata has made no effort to revive in the last two terms as the state CM.
Mamata Banerjee was also one of the 12 opposition members that wrote a letter to PM Modi asking for free vaccination across the state and country. However, by being a signatory in the letter, Mamata exposed her hypocrisy. A few months back, Mamata had been shrieking at the top of her voice, requesting the centre to allow states to procure vaccines directly from the manufacturers.
“You may recall that I had written to you on February 24, 2021, to allow the state to purchase vaccination doses directly with state funds and launch a massive free vaccination campaign in the state covering the entire population,” Mamata had written a letter to the PM.
However, with the state coffers empty and dry, a socialist Mamata had to turn to the centre to plead for the vaccines. Moreover, the anti-capitalistic rhetoric of Mamata which often forced private players out of the state has seemingly also toned down.
Quite late in life but the TMC supremo might have learnt her lesson that in times as trying as these, it helps to have a robust manufacturing setup in the backyard which can provide employment and financial security to the public. Only if the Tata’s had been allowed in Singur, the vaccine manufacturers would not have wasted a heartbeat to set their camp in Bengal. However, in absence of one, it will be incredibly difficult for Mamata to earn the manufacturer’s trust — even if the centre accepts her request.