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Biman pledge to protect greens

Left Front boss Biman Bose has promised not to cook up a storm on the Maidan during Sunday’s proposed rally and prepared his foot soldiers for an outing on the greens without rice and chicken curry.

Bose had no choice but to give an undertaking after Fort William, which is the custodian of the Maidan, got the defence ministry to intervene.

“I have signed the undertaking as the Left Front chairman and am obliged to comply with the court’s order (on protecting the Maidan). A list of dos and don’ts has been circulated,” he told Metro on Friday.

Bose had less than two months ago asked the rally brigade not to bother about the “hue and cry by a section of media and so-called ecologists” over a DYFI meeting at the same venue. The organisers had drilled more than 1,000 holes on the greens, cooked in the open in violation of the ban on chullahs within three km of Victoria Memorial and lined up 130-odd vehicles despite the area being a no-parking zone.

Any party or organisation that organises a rally on the Maidan is required to give the army an undertaking to restore the greens to their original condition after the event. But this is the first known instance of the state CPM secretary signing on the dotted line.

A senior army officer said Fort William, the army’s eastern headquarters, referred the Left Front’s request to use the Maidan to the headquarters to avoid a repeat of what happened during the DYFI rally on December 20.

“We always insist, be it a club that has requested for use of the army’s land for a football match or a political party wanting it for a rally, that the ground should be restored to its original condition. In this instance, the Eastern Command headquarters referred the CPM’s request to use the Maidan to the army headquarters, which forwarded it to the relevant branch — the quartermaster-general (land and works) that oversees all army estates.”

Bose blamed vendors for the condition of the Maidan after the DYFI rally. “Rallyists are blamed for what vendors do. The so-called green activists took pictures of vendors cooking on the Maidan and submitted these to the court as proof of the DYFI destroying the venue.”

The Left Front chairman said “volunteers” of the CPM and its allies had been asked to ensure that food wasn’t cooked on the greens during Sunday’s rally. The don’ts include parking on the Maidan and littering.

There will be no relief for the commuter, though. Bose said workers had been asked to head for the Maidan in a disciplined manner, but did not guarantee smooth flow of traffic. “We hope citizens will understand that a rally cannot be held in the sky and bear with us.’’

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