Amit Mitra with US Ambassador Roemer

FICCI Secretary General, Amit Mitra has joined the Trinamool Congress and is contesting the 2011 West Bengal Assembly Election from Khardah. He was also appointed as the chairman of Railway Expert Committee by the Trinamool Supremo and India's Railway Minister. This blog features Mitra's politico-ideological inclinations and pose some questions to the Trinamool Congress on these issues. (Attached photo captures Amit Mitra with US Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer, courtsey: Flickr & Google Images).    

Amit Mitra’s political training in RSS’ student wing ABVP: 
“FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra had his early grounding in the BJP-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP) and can call a number of BJP leaders as his friends”
(The Financial Express, 14th May, 2004): Click Here
Q: Why has Trinamool Congress nominated a person like Amit Mitra, who has ‘early grounding’ in ABVP and is politically close to BJP?
Amit Mitra opposed the agitation against Tata Motors Plant in Singur:
“The Tata project could have brought about a major change in the industrial scenario in the state. This was not a one-off auto project, but would have given a boost to a host of ancillaries as well.”
(Rediff.com, 4th October, 2008): Click Here
Q. Has Amit Mitra changed his position vis-à-vis Singur OR has the Trinamool changed its position?
Amit Mitra supports FDI in Retail:
“FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra suggests ushering in retail FDI with a stipulation that large retailers will procure a major part of their supplies locally and work closely with farmers in imparting better knowhow.”
(India Today, internet version: 11th April, 2011): Click Here  
“To increase the share of organised retail…Ficci has advocated a multi-pronged strategy that includes relaxing the foreign direct investment norms, grant of industry status to retail, simplification of the tax structure, upgrade of manpower skills and a check on counterfeiting…‘Archaic laws and regulations should be done away with’ said FICCI president Amit Mitra.”
(Business Standard, 23rd April, 2007): Click Here

Q. Why has Trinamool nominated a supporter of FDI in Retail when it stated in its 2009 Lok Sabha Manifesto that it is opposed to the entry of MNCs in retail trade?
Amit Mitra advocates SEZs:
“A few land agitations or a few denotifications sought by a handful of developers cannot and should not detract from the success of the SEZ policy in the country. Besides, while there may be agitations in Bengal or Orissa, there are absolutely no agitations in Tamil Nadu or Gujarat over SEZs.”
(The Telegraph, Kolkata; 28th June, 2009): Click Here

Q. Why has an ardent supporter of SEZs been nominated as a candidate of the Trinamool, which claims to be the ‘anti-SEZ’ party according to its 2009 Lok Sabha Manifesto (p. 33, p. 35)? Has Trinamool now become a pro-SEZ party?
Amit Mitra supports Hire and Fire:
FICCI’s position on Labour Reforms: “by flexible labour laws, FICCI did not just mean freedom to hire and fire labour, but also enabling contract labour.”
(Business Line, 21st January, 2001): Click Here

“Amit Mitra, secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said labour reforms were a must to give a thrust to Indian economy.”
(Rediff.com, 10th September, 2001): Click Here  

Q. Why has Trinamool nominated a candidate who wants to push anti-labour changes in labour laws? 
Amit Mitra is a Neoliberal Hawk:
A Duke University Newsletter report titled “Mitra Urges Indian Liberalization” reported that he had set up a ‘think tank’ whose purpose was “to push the government of India to liberalize the Indian economy.”
(Economics at Duke Newsletter, Vol. 14, No. 2, Summer 1993): Click Here

Q. Does the Trinamool share Amit Mitra’s vision of liberalization and neoliberal reforms?    
Amit Mitra batted for Enron:
“You will be happy to know that I personally went on CNN and condemned the cancellation of the Enron deal” (Rediff.com, 1st November, 1996): Click Here  

Q: Why is Trinamool backing a supporter of a fraud company like Enron?    
Amit Mitra is close to the American establishment: 
“ ‘We know Bush is good for India. But in Kerry's case we would have been hopeful that he would be good for India’, says Amit Mitra, secretary-general, FICCI”
(India Today, 15th November, 2004): Click Here
“We have political comfort with the Bush administration.”
(Rediff.com, 30th September, 2005): Click Here  
Q. Is Amit Mitra the link between the Trinamool and the US administration?



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Corporate lobbyist

Amit Mitra believes in calibrated globalization it seems, exhorts ET, the ultimate pink paper. Fantastic.

Amit Mitra will bring Bengal back from the "brink" by wooing back business (what an irony!) because he never worked for just one company as a lobbyist, says FICCI president KK Modi.

Please read: http://bit.ly/mDBkUg



Amit Mitra Supports Oil Price Hike
"FICCI supports in principle this phased decontrol of oil prices."
(FICCI website):

"TMC has neither been consulted nor called for discussion over the price hike of petrol"
(Trinamool MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay in NDTV: 17th January, 2011):

"Mamata Banerjee and TMC were also part of the decision taken for the decontrol of oil prices."
(Ex-Oil Minister Murli Deora in CNN-IBN: 17th January, 2011):

Q. Is Amit Mitra the key consultant of Trinamool on oil price hikes?

Amit Mitra is a staunch supporter of Disinvestment of PSUs
"Disinvestment is Absolute Neccesity"
(Amit Mitra in the media after 2009 Budget):

Q. Why a staunch supporter of PSU Disinvestment has been given nomination by the Trinamool when it favours a secured and strong Public sector according to its 2009 Lok Sabha Election Manifesto (p. 27)?

misleading article....

its shameful....that CPIM could not get some other methods/tools to propagate against Dr. Mitra....how does it matter whether he is/was pro-BJP or US.....don't we need a finance or industry minister...who has good contacts and cordial relationship with all big shots in the market...be it industry leaders or country leaders.....

with due respect to Dr. Dasgupta and his excellent academic record....I feel he is best suited for the role of a professor in Calcutta University...we need dynamic people like Dr. Mitra to manage our state economy and industries...having good rapport with indian and internation industry leaders...

lets not even start discussing about WB economy and the great role played by our finance minister.... how much loan is there on our state...where do we stand in terms of unemployement comapred to progressive states of India....how many districts are there in Bengal which are below poverty line....

Its irony of life...that the writer of this article is bringing the past affiliation of Dr. Mitra with BJP / ABVP...when on the other side our dear chief minister wants to follow Gujrat model....

What is there to mislead the

What is there to mislead the readers in the article, anonymous? If Mamata had not been talking about Left slogans and had she not been supported by our so-called revolutionary MAOISTS AND 'real socialist' SUC , none would be talking about AMIT MITRA. Mamata is supported by MAOISTS who want her as the next chief minster of Bengal, while posing themselves as the true champions of the down-trodden and SUC, a self proclaiming Left party. Mamata sheds tears for poor and downtrodden. Yet she fields AMIT MITRA who is well known as a spokesman of the big business houses and neo-liberal LPG policies of the Govt because of which the miseries of the poor and downtrodeen have increased manyfold.Can you deny this honestly? And AMIT MITRA is projected as the next finance minister of bengal,if TMC is voted to power. Why this hypocrisy? What is there article to mislead you in this respect?

Secondly, MAMATA is projecting herself as secular and as one who never compromises with communalism. That she was part of the very BJP govt at the centre and she never condemned the gujrat riots is another matter. But at present, she projects herself as the custodian of Muslim masses . At the same time, she fields AMIT MITRA who is a shameless supporter of Gujrat model of development . Is it not hypocrisy on her part? What is there in the article to mislead you, anonymous?

If industry is your concern, why MAMATA drove out car factory in singur? Why did she mindlessly oppose the industrialisation efforts of the LF Govt? So, if AMIT MITRA brings industries because of his " good contacts and cordial relationship with all big shots in the market...be it industry leaders or country leaders.....", you will welcome them and if Buddhadeb brings industries, you will oppose? Is this not hypocrisy on the part of MAMATA?

R Maran

Amit Mitra represents a

Amit Mitra represents a particular brand of neo-liberal politics and economics whose breeding ground lies in the USA. Mamata Banerjee cannot have it both ways. Either she has to choose Amit Mitra or choose the slogan of Maa-Maati-Manush since all three are far far away from Amit Mitra.
Mamata has Ganapathy (Maoist Leader) on one hand and Shilpo-pati (industrialist) on the other. The fact that Amit Mitra is a RSS sympathizer does not bother her, since she also wants Raghupati (Hindutva) on her side. Such hypocrisy needs to be exposed. If you think that Amit Mitra is the ideal person for Finance Minister, I have a better suggestion. Why not give Mukesh Ambani or Ketan Parikh the job. Why go for middle-men when what you really want is a corporate cabinet.

Mamata and Mukesh

Why will Mukesh Ambani take charge of West Bengal, a "business" left incurably sick by the CPI(M)? Talk sense, comrade.

Reply to Misleading article

Have you Trinamul people formed your cabinet already? So , Amit Mitra is finance minister. what about others? Havent u heard the story of the milkmaid with milkjar on her head. Pl watch you are going to spill all your milk. Then... only Rly Ministry remains.

A Welwisher

few other facts in TMC ishtehar/manifesto

There are two manifestos of the TMC. One in Bengali and the other in English. As expected they cater to different constituencies. The funny thing is, there are few 'unexpected' things in the bengali version, courtsey TMC's new friends like Amit Mitra. There is a reference to PPP model for rural infrastructure, meaning roads mainly but not really excluding rural electrification and irrigation. It is not clear whether TMC is actually proposing tolling based infrastructural investment from private sector. This is a valid suspicion, simply because in our country PPP means liability remains in the domain of the 'public' where quick profit lines the pocket of the private investor, which is reflected in the national SEZ policy as well. It is hard to believe that the TMC, which did well in Lok sabha elections on the rural sector card is actually mulling infrastructure as a paid service while the media propaganda shows 'potential' public investment in railways in west bengal as a proof or at least an indicator of 'efficient administration' that Mamata can bring. The other interesting reference is that, at one place, the ishtehar is saying, TMC will welcome large corporate retailers in the rural handicraft sector. The suspicion obviously is natural that TMC is going to sell contract farming and corporate retailing as Agro based industry, as the slogan of 'krishi bhittik shilpa' is generally flouted as a resolution to the apparent agriculture vs industry schism, post singur. The most interesting issue is the ishtehar's rumblings about seed research and problems of 'government run agricultural farms'. it clearly says, the biggest problem apparently is the nature of labour contracts. There are farm labourers who are permanent govt employees, and this is apparently a big problem. ('sthaayee karan karte giye hite bipareet hayechhe'). So it advocates informalisation of those labour contracts and does not utter a word about actual investment in seed research. The bengali version ishtehar lays great emphasis on quality of seeds, particularly high yield varieties, but does not say where the research will come from. I think we are looking at advocacy of branded multinational seeds while the jobs of staffers in government farms are at risk. I love the way our great leader is shaping up her policies!


Besides Amit Mitra's BJP connexions, it was well-known during his student days that his political mentor was Dr Sumramanyam Swami. (It's alleged that Dr Swamy's connexion help Mitra secure a place at Duke University.) Mitra was so much BJP-leaning that he never pursued the Congress Party politics directly, despite hailing from an eminently Congress family, with his own father being its Deputy Speaker in the West Bengal Assembly! It may be also interesting to wonder why Mitra never mentions the lost year in his student career: he passed his BA from Calcutta University in 1967, but got his MA from Delhi in 1970 -- did he not study at Jadavpur University in 1968? Why is he hiding it altogether? What is he hiding?

useless article!

What if he has BJP leaning and supports liberalization ?
>> its very common in Indian politics...

At the end, if he is able to do his job well, nothing else should matter...

it seems u have invested lot in time in mud throwing against him..
Even u might have vested interests.. Only a similar detailed scrutiny on you may reveal it!!