More trouble for Mamta – hooch tragedy claims more than 150 dead; problems in governance that need to be tackled

Mamta Banerjee came to politics on the crest of a wave for change; this was a wave that totally removed the Left Front from power and brought her to victory with a large margin. With this change, the people of West Bengal put all their faith in the power of Mamta Banerjee to bring a change to their lives, improve them for the better. The policies of the Left Front over the past 3 decades may have made the state a Communist stronghold, but led to a huge downturn for the lives and betterment of people in the state. Economic activity reduced due to rampant trade unionism, and policies of the Government only increased this trend, to the extent that Bengal was nowhere in the list of growing states.
However, it is worth noting that Mamta Banerjee was never reputed to be a great reformer. Such was the adversity under the Left Front and the need for a change that Mamta was able to channelise herself as the only worthwhile opponent of the Communists, and hence got a lot of support from the electorate. She was actually the one who drove away the Tatas from the state, which was a major indicator of the problems in the state (also showing that efforts by the last Communist chief minister to reform the state and increase economic activity were doomed to fail).

Now, Mamta Banerjee has to rule, as opposed to demand change. She has to take on the mantle of responsibility, go away from her opposition beliefs, and show how she can bring about a change in the lives of people. She has plenty of people who can show her how to proceed; the states of Bihar, Jharkand, Chattisgarh, and even Uttar Pradesh were all seen as low growth states that pulled down the overall growth rate of the country. However, in the last few years, these states, even Uttar Pradesh, have caught up with the national growth rate, and Bihar under Nitish Kumar has shown huge amounts of improvement. So, there is no dearth of people to follow.
But Mamta is different. From her recent policy statements (and from her time in the Railway Ministry), she has shown herself to be another populist, who will take stands that could seem away from a person who is looking to increase the rate of development and attract more economic activity to their state. So, she is against the state getting involved in offering land to industry (while many other states go all out to make things easier for industries in terms of getting land), she recently showed that she would even intervene in law and order when she went to a police station to get a few of her partymen out).
Just recently there was a horrific fire in a Kolkata hospital that led to the death of almost 90 people, and like any other such accident, totally avoidable if the required policies were followed and practices. And now this case of illicit liquor, laced with methyl alcohol, that killed more than 150 people, with the count still increasing. All such cases of illicit liquor cannot take place without the active connivance of the Government authority of the area, including the local police, who normally look the other way because of the money they get. If Mamta has to keep the faith of her people, she has to actually do governance, rather than slogans; this is like an iceberg, where you see just the tip and a lot of hard work goes unseen. If she does not deliver, she will find that the people kick her out faster than she dreads in her worst nightmare.

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