Bengal Govt Refuses To Mention PM Modi in State Project Names

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Kolkata: What’s in a name? Well nothing, but as far as the Trinamool Congress government is concerned, it means almost everything. The West Bengal government is on a war path with the Centre over names of projects, which are jointly funded by state and the Government of India.

The state ministers are now objecting to give credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and have his identity on central projects on road, rural electrification, housing and food for which the state has to shell funds in some measure or the other. State Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee is not ready to tag the words, Pradhan Mantri, in the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana scheme.

“We have to chip in 40 per cent of fund and sometimes the Centre takes ages to send their stipulated allotment. We have decided to name such projects as State Gram Sadak Yojana,” Mukherjee said.

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Over the years, however, the state has been changing the names silently. Swacch Bharat in Bengal is Nirmal Bangla, Annapurna and Antadaya Yojana are Khadyasathi and Pradhan Mantri Abas Yojana is Shokoler Jonyo Bari.

Some say that the decision to drop all association with Pradhan Mantri or prime minister is largely political. “Even though welfare projects are funded both by the state and the Centre, the ruling party at the Centre at the time of election gets to reap the maximum benefit in campaigns by virtue of having the tag of Prime Minister in the names. It becomes really difficult to convince the people,” said Mukherjee.

However, whether the state can change the names on their own without the Centre’s approval is a different matter. Incidentally, the Trinamool Congress government does not care for rules and regulations. The desire and will of West Bengal chief minister is the rule and order of the day.