The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Biman sniffs plot in firing backlash

Calcutta, March 24: CPM state secretary Biman Bose today cautioned his party about a plot to destabilise the government and hit out at the “hasty” high court order for a CBI probe into the Nandigram firing.

Emerging from the state committee meeting today, Bose alleged that the Opposition parties, which have been breathing fire on the CPM over the March 14 bloodbath, have become pawns of a “larger anti-communist conspiracy”.

The CPM has been facing flak for the firing even from its Left Front partners. But Bose made it clear that “the party will not attach any importance” to critical comments from allies “in the interest of Left unity at the national level”.

Bose today reiterated that the police action was only an attempt to “restore the rule of law in Nandigram” and the government had “kept its patience for two-and-half-months”.

The state committee decided to launch a campaign from April 3 “to expose the anti-Left Front government conspiracy”, Bose said, adding that the CPM would remain committed to industrialisation but by “taking people into confidence”.

According to party insiders, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee admitted at the meeting that “inadequate information about the strength of the Opposition-backed resistance in Nandigram had led to wrong assessment of the ground situation”.

A state committee member said “fixing responsibility” would be discussed at the party’s state secretariat meeting later.

Sources quoted sports minister Subhas Chakraborty as saying the police “excesses” could have been averted if the government had decided to send the police to Nandigram before the January 7 killings. Party MP Amitava Nandi felt “overdependence on police and bureaucracy should be avoided to avert a Nandigram-like situation in the future.’’

Benoy Konar, a CPM state secretariat member, said the party has not reached any conclusion about whether police mismanagement had resulted in the firing.

Drawing a parallel with the dismissal of the Left government in Kerala in 1957 and the “subversion of democracy” during the 1972 Bengal Assembly polls under Congress rule, Bose said: “Whenever communists have tried to change class relations in favour of the poor, reactionary forces have provoked infighting among the poor.”

The “same web of conspiracy” is spreading in Bengal, he said. “Opposition parties are now hell-bent on blocking industrialisation and development by stoking violence and anarchy”.

Bose, however, warned that “the desperate conspiracy against the Left Front government is being exposed gradually. It is a sinister move to weaken the Left movement in the state as well as at the national level.”

Calcutta High Court, which will on Monday give its views on the CBI report on the Nandigram firing, came under attack for being “abnormally hasty and pro-active” in ordering the probe without asking the government for its opinion.

Asked if the court order was part of the “conspiracy” as well, Bose clarified: “I did not say that. All I said was that the court was pro-active.”

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