The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Party backs CM on industry drive
- Move to persuade sulking section

Jan. 19: Alarmed at the rumblings of discontent in the ranks, the state CPM leadership has decided on an exercise to reconcile the conservative elements to Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's industrialisation programmes.

Party officials today said the projects that benefited Bengal in the past three years would be publicised to convince the conservatives, who trained their guns on the government in the CPM's Calcutta district committee conference for displacing the poor and the middle class ' its traditional support base ' from Calcutta and other urban areas.

An indication of the exercise in managing 'contradictions' came from state CPM secretary Anil Biswas' stand at the conference. 'There is no Chinese wall between the peoples' movement and the concept of development,' he told delegates.

'Development does not mean we are discouraging people's movement. On the contrary, development will help us put forward our pro-people agenda,' Biswas said, making it clear that the party will not stand in the way of the chief minister's drive to develop the state.

For three days, delegates to the conference had criticised Bhattacharjee and felt his government did not give proper attention to the cause of the poor while pushing for development.

Biswas said: 'The entire party will have to fight for development as we feel it is also a part of our class struggle. Development will also help us take ahead our party programmes. We have to shape the policies adopted by our government as people's policies.'

His remarks are also being perceived as 'words of caution' for those opposed to Bhattacharjee's development drive.

The moves are being interpreted as the party's step towards next year's Assembly elections and the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) polls due in a few months.

Bhattacharjee's cabinet colleagues also came to his defence during the day. Cottage and small-scale industry minister Bansagopal Chowdhury supported the 'pro-industry line' and supported him for attaching adequate importance to development.

'A party like the CPM must have a practical approach while running the government. We have to develop industry in our state to provide jobs to lakhs of our unemployed youths. Who will give jobs to you if we don't allow any industry to flourish in our state' Chowdhury said at a meeting in Ranigunj.

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