Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan speaking to ANI
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan speaking to ANI

Dharmendra Pradhan woos 'bhadralok', says 'Sonar Bangla' beyond regime change to revive Bengal's lost glory

ANI | Updated: Apr 05, 2021 22:44 IST

By Pragya Kaushika
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], April 5 (ANI): Even as Bharatiya Janata Party fights a fierce battle in Bengal with Trinamool Congress with the ground-level campaign, the party is fighting another battle to wean away 'bhadralok'' and occupy ideological space that is seen to be primarily occupied by Left parties in the poll-bound state.
As part of BJP's efforts, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan met around 60 prominent personalities of the state to seek their blessings for "poriborton" and to explain the vision of 'Sonar Bangla' that is the main poll plank of BJP in this assembly election.
Interacting with professionals and intellectuals in the state from various communities, Pradhan explained the concept of 'Sonar Bangla' that aims to regain the lost economic and intellectual glory of the state.
"Sonar Bangla doesn't (only) mean replacing Didi and Bhaipo in West Bengal's districts and to bring new governance. It is much more than that. The vision is to re-establish the work culture that Bengal was known for. It was a hub of maritime economic activities. We need to re-establish and revive that Bengal," he said.
He said that eight to nine per cent of the world's population lives in India and Bengal can be a major hub for reach out to South Asian and East Asian countries.
"World population's eight to nine per cent people live here and influence 20 crore population that resides in Bangladesh and Myanmar. So, Kolkata gets to be the epicentre of activities for around 10 to 12 per cent world's population. This is our vision for Sonar Bangla. Can Bengal not be the epicentre of various activities including economic? Utilising the intellectual manpower to its limits needs to be explored," the minister said.
Explaining further, he said, "if we take UP's Gorakhpur to Ganga Sagar and eastern part till the Brahmaputra, approximately 50 crore people live in this region and they influence 20 crore people that include Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia and ASEAN countries".
"Intellectual manpower comes from this region. The epicentre of 10 to 12 per cent of global population can be Bengal," he said.
The minister said it is imperative to establish a work culture to achieve 'Sonar Bangla'.
"We need to re-establish work culture. In the 60s, 70s and 80s it got derailed, rule of law wasn't adhered to. Priority is to adhere to the rule of law and re-establish work culture," said Pradhan while taking a dig at the incumbent Mamata government.
Prominent persons who met Pradhan included Dr Alok Roy, Chairman, Medica; Hitendra Kumar, Director Exide Industries; Adhar Lal Chand, retired chief principal IT commissioner; Dr Col Dipak Mishra, Tata Cancer Hospital; Prof Dr Suman Mookerjee, head of economics and director of Bhawanipur education society and Somesh Dasgupta, Director India Power Corporation Limited.
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Anurag Thakur are also slated to interact with intellectuals in the state in the coming weeks. (ANI)