Kolkata: Expressing shock at the recent statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the poor performance of the Left Front government in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said PM commented on those lines under compulsion of coalition politics.

Buddhadeb highlighted that if PM had conviction in his statement, he would have raised it during their meetings in the past.  “It seems he has made the recent comment under the pressure of UPA allies,” he said.

“I am surprised by the PM’s statement, and fail to understand that from where he analyzed that the state government was not functioning as per the expectation,” added Bhattacharya.

Interacting with the media persons on Sunday, the Chief Minister, who is leading the toughest battle of the Left Front in its pocket borough, also objected to the comparison between the conditions of minorities in West Bengal with those in Gujarat.

“Unlike Gujarat, West Bengal has been running several welfare projects for the minorities,” he said, claiming the minorities are living in a very bad state in Gujarat.

Citing 10 percent reservation for minorities in West Bengal, Bhattacharya said the state is on path of progress and the opposition parties were making false charges on the state government.

 “Apart from focusing on agriculture, efforts are being done for setting up industries,” he added.

Bhattacharya also dismissed the PM’s comment on West Bengal’s literacy rate. He pointed out that the average literacy rate at the national level was 74 per cent, which is below the average literacy rate of West Bengal which is 77 percent. Despite Singur controversy, Rs 15,000 crore was invested in the industrial sector in 2010, he added.

The CM maintained that his party was contesting the state elections on the basis of its performance and development issues.

Buddhadeb also took a dig at PM’s statement stating that “in his public rallies, the PM did not raise the issue of Maoist, inflation and corruption which continue to haunt the people”.

He claimed that arrangements are being made to provide rice, cooking, oil salt to the poor at subsidized rates. The CM also assured that the allocation distribution system would be improved. “Poor will be provided rice at Rs 2 per kg, and we are against any form of division of West Bengal,” Bhattacharya said.

JPN/Bureau