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‘I built 500 IITs and polytechnic colleges’: Mamata Banerjee exaggerates her achievements in her 11 years as WB CM

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday courted controversy after she proclaimed to have built over 500 IITs and polytechnic colleges in the state over the span of her 11 years in power.

On Monday (September 5), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee courted controversy after she claimed to have built 500 IITs and polytechnic colleges in a span of 11 years.

She made the contentious remarks on the occasion of Teacher’s Day at the Biswa Bangla Mela Prangan in Kolkata. At about 45 minutes into the event, Banerjee claimed, “We have been able to do one thing – skill development. We are number one in it.”

While boasting about her achievements, she lost the track of numbers. “I have built about 500 IITs and polytechnic colleges.” During her speech, she made several claims and none appeared as far-fetched as her claim about the Indian Institute of Technology.

Interestingly, there are only 23 IITs in India. This has left many wondering as to what could possibly be the basis of such an outlandish claim. West Bengal BJP leader Keya Ghosh mocked the West Bengal CM and wrote, “500 IITs built by Mamata Banerjee’s Govt in last 11 years. IIT?? Seriously?”

A Twitter user (@tarunosrm) said that Mamata Banerjee perhaps wanted to discuss ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) but ended up referring to the IITs. A disastrous slip of the tongue by the Head of a State would have drawn public ridicule but the West Bengal CM has somehow been immune to it.

Nonetheless, the remainder of Banerjee’s speech hinted at the possibility that she had the Industrial Training Institutes in mind and not the IITs. “Do you know the result of opening 500 IITs and polytechnic colleges?” she asked the audience.

Mamata Banerjee claimed that her efforts have helped pull a plug on unemployment by upskilling the job seekers. “We have created a portal to connect those undertaking training to the recruiters,” she said.

Screengrab of the tweet by Tarun

“Imagine, you are learning to drive. Once your driving licence is issued, a company offers you a job. In the following 15 days, I will provide employment letters to 30000 young boys and girls after they are hired through these skill development programmes,” she alleged.

It becomes evident that Banerjee intended to speak about ITIs, except she committed a verbal blunder. However, even then, her claims do not make sense.

According to the West Bengal Government’s Department of Technical Education, Training and Skill Development, there are only 75 government polytechnics in the State. At the same time, the total number of Industrial Training Institutes in West Bengal stands at 46.

In total, there are 121 ITIs and government polytechnics in the State, many of which existed prior to Mamata Banerjee’s rise to power in 2011. While the West Bengal Chief Minister has been misleading people with her claims of 500 IITs, the reality of the State’s education sector is shrouded in obscurity.

Despite being caught peddling information in a public event, neither Mamata Banerjee nor her party members bothered to apologise or issue a clarification about the matter.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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