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Left unions flay Bantala delay

All the Left trade unions, barring Citu, the CPM’s labour arm, have joined hands in demanding a probe by the state government into the delay in completing the Bantala leather complex.

On Monday, they sponsored a joint rally off the upcoming complex and criticised the government for its failure to compel the promoter to complete the construction work in time.

Citu was invited to the meeting, but none of its leaders attended. “Their absence is really astonishing. We had told them in advance about the rally at Bantala,” a senior Forward Bloc leader said on Tuesday. Citu leader Mrinal Das, however, said he was not aware of the rally and “it is not possible for us to attend without any official invitation.”

According to RSP leader and trade unionist Sunil Sengupta, the unions have decided to submit a memorandum to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee next week, seeking an inquiry into the delay on the part of the promoter in completing the leather complex within the stipulated period. “We will urge the government to recruit another promoter for the project,” Sengupta said.

He claimed that 80 per cent of the project was incomplete and it was impossible for the tanners to shift to Bantala, in the absence of any infrastructure to run their units.

The unions are also worried about the delay as most of the tannery workers are from the minority and backward classes. “The government has the additional responsibility of protecting their interests,” said a senior CPI leader.

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