Kolkata: Branding the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders as "pseudo-intellectuals", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday described herself as a "pragmatist" who planned for the future.
Banerjee hit out at the erstwhile Left Front regime for failing to undertake any developmental measure during its 34 years in office, and said she was trying to revive the state's health.
"Unlike the CPI-M and some other political party members who are pseudo-intellectuals, I am a pragmatist," said Banerjee at a gathering in Sorisha block near Diamond Harbour of South 24-Parganas district.
She added, "We have to plan for the future. For 34 years they (Left Front) did not do anything. I realised we could breed our own fish (Hilsa) instead of importing it from Bangladesh."
In order to boost the production of the prized fish, considered a delicacy in Bengal, Banerjee inaugurated a Hilsa research centre - one of her pet projects - in Diamond Harbour to propel the state towards "self-sufficiency" in its production.
She unveiled a slew of developmental projects for scaling up the West Bengal fisheries sector.
Stressing on increasing production of green chillies and onions in Bengal, Banerjee also announced a special card system for fishermen.
"The health of people here is bad ... they (Left Front) have done the damage. Many people say that my health has deteriorated.
"What do I do? I am trying to revive my people's well-being ... the well-being of my state ... I know what is going on ... I keep track of progress and what is needed to be done ... I plan for the future," said Banerjee.
She also announced that an employment bank will be launched Oct 3 that will provide Rs.1,500 per month to one lakh unemployed individuals till they get jobs. Starting Oct 1, the government will provide special monetary benefits to 10,000 girls under the 'Kanyashree' programme.