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Bloc jab and jibe at CPM

Calcutta, Dec. 25: The Forward Bloc today sought an explanation from Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his party for their failure to resume the peace process in Nandigram earlier.

A day after Jyoti Basu hauled it up for holding a rally in Nandigram on its own days before the chief minister’s public meeting, the Bloc also announced its Singur programme on January 6.

Basu had asked the ally why its leaders had not visited Nandigram in the past 11 months when CPM supporters were being persecuted and the administration was not being allowed to work.

Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh said: “We didn’t because we believed the CPM brass would honour the Left Front’s decision and initiate a political dialogue to bring back peace. But it decided to recapture Nandigram by bringing in armed cadres. We can’t support it. The meeting was needed to make our opposition public.’’

Ghosh is second only to Basu in terms of seniority in the front. Basu had yesterday said: “I don’t know why Ashok Ghosh is doing this.”

The Bloc leader asked CPM state secretary and front chief Biman Bose and Bhattachar- jee to “explain why they could not resume the peace process we partners had initiated”.

Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas went a step further. “Jyoti Basu should first ask his party leaders why they failed to put their foot in Nandigram in 11 months… why the government machinery caved in totally.’’

The party sent a letter to Basu today enclosing the decisions of its state council, which includes the move to fight the rural polls alone.

Opposed to Bhattacharjee’s market-friendly policies and his party’s support for them, the Bloc had earlier accused the CPM of trying to “appease capitalists”.

“The party and the government would pay the price of ignoring the allies as well as public opinion,” said Biswas.

CPI retail spanner

The CPI today joined the Bloc in opposing the entry of big corporates in retail.

“We don’t want to ruin the future of small traders,” said Manju Kumar Majumdar, who was re-elected state party secretary in Krishnagar today.

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