Left Front demands white paper on Bengal secretariat shift

Kolkata, Aug 8 (IANS) Questioning the West Bengal government's decision to shift out the state secretariat from the iconic Writers' Buildings for remodelling the heritage edifice, the opposition Left front Thursday demanded a white paper on the issue.

Leader of Opposition and Communist Party of India-Marxist heavyweight Surjya Kanta Mishra said the Mamata Banerjee regime should focus more on other burning issues like the ongoing stir in the north Bengal hills.

"The government did not feel the necessity to discuss the matter with us. We have heard Rs.200 crore will be spent on remodeling of the Writers' and only she (Banerjee) knows how much more will be required for her entire plans. Let her government come out with a white paper on the issue," he said.

Banerjee Wednesday said the secretariat would be temporarily moved out of the Writers' to allow remodeling of the heritage building which has become a "tinderbox".

"The decision will bring only disorder. We don't understand what she (Chief Minister Banerjee) wants. Why is this decision now when there are other burning issues like the Gorkhaland issue, the rising crime etc?" Mishra told media persons here.

The secretariat is scheduled to be shifted Oct 1 to the HRBC Building in Howrah district.

With Banerjee announcing her plans to bring the secretariat as well as state assembly under one roof in future, Mishra said it only betrayed her intention to "control everything".

"When the other states are going for decentralisation scattering out its offices, our CM is gunning for centralisation. Perhaps she wants everything under her control. That is why she is planning to bring all offices under one roof," he said.

He however, emphasised the need to lessen the pressure on the Writers' as well as to revamp it.

"We always felt the need to lessen the pressure on the Writers' and we moved several departments to other parts of the city. We have always maintained that only some key offices should be kept here. But moving the entire secretariat is unwarranted," added Mishra.

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