Dancing on the Ceiling
Mamata’s MP takes the Amma route, doling out freebies in Maoist land
She may have a winner here. The Trinamool Congress’s youthful Jhargram MP, Uma Soren, used Rs 16.39 crore of her MPLAD funds to pay for new ceiling fans, water purifiers/ coolers and LED lamps in 3,000 state schools in her constituency.
But rather than claiming credit for a scheme that will bring schoolchildren respite from the searing summer ahead, the media-shy Soren is rolling it out in the name of ‘Mamatamoyee Jangaler Ma’ (caring mother of Jangalmahal, as Mamata Banerjee is often referred to in these parts). The West Bengal chief minister, reports say, is overwhelmed. Ceiling fans for schoolrooms are being sent under the ‘Mamatamoyee Sneher Porosh (loving touch)’, the LED lamps under the ‘Mamatamoyee Ashirwaad (blessings)’ and the coolers will be the ‘Mamatamoyee Amritdhara (spring of nectar)’.
And to make sure the deification is complete, the gifts will all be emblazoned with Banerjee’s smiling visage. To her credit, in the six years she’s been in office, the chief minister has worked tirelessly to bring peace and governance to the Maoist violence-afflicted Jangalmahal area comprising West Midnapore, parts of Bankura and Purulia.
Predictably, the Opposition is unimpressed. CPI(M) leader Amiya Patra questions the purpose of putting Mamata stickers on fans and coolers, pooh-poohing it as another gimmick to gain advantage in the panchayat polls slated for 2018.
LET IT SWING Mamata’s visage beams from a school fan