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Since 1st March, 1999
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Benoy sprays Gangajal
- Verdict will inspire forces of anarchy: CPM leader

Calcutta, Nov. 16: The high court verdict on the March 14 firing in Nandigram again revealed the cracks in the ruling front: the CPM complained that it would “inspire the forces of anarchy” but its major allies called it a “reflection of public opinion”.

The government, and the CPM, are yet to decide whether it would be wise to appeal against today’s order.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee declined comment. State party secretary Biman Bose, too, did not comment on the verdict, though he criticised the “increasing interference of the judiciary in the business of legislature and the government” at a rally in Birbhum.

Party state secretariat member Benoy Konar opened fire in Calcutta. “It (the verdict) will only inspire the forces of anarchy. Next time, the court should decide when the police should fire to tackle violence.

“Do they expect the police to contain rowdies by spraying Gangajal and reading out the Gita to them'” he said.

The allies aired opposite views. “The order reflects the people’s opinion. The government should treat the verdict with respect,” Forward Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh said.

The RSP’s Kshiti Goswami and CPI’s Nandgopal Bhattacharya echoed him.

In a statement reflecting the mood of the mini front wi-thin the Left Front, Ghosh came down heavily on the CPM.

He held the CPM’s “nonchalance” and the government’s “failure to contain months of violence” responsible for “undermining popular pro-Left opinion in the state”.

“The death of 14 innocent commoners in indiscriminate police firing on March 14 was the final outcome of this political misadventure,” he said.

Ghosh accused the CPM and the government of sabotaging all peace efforts by the allies and Jyoti Basu.

“We believe the so-called peace now prevailing in Nandigarm will be short-lived. Only an all-party meeting to address local grievances can ensure durable peace,” he added.

Many decisions taken after the March 14 firing — like paying compensation to the dead and the wounded, helping rebuild damaged houses and rehabilitating the homeless — have not been implemented.

Biman Bose insisted that the Left Front will fight the 2008 panchayat polls unitedly. Ghosh stressed on “democracy within the front and its right to direct the government’s policies” as the guarantee for the unity.

Konar likened his party to Shiva, whose throat had become blue drinking poison meant for others. “They (the allies) share the nectar of power but desert the CPM when it comes to drinking the venom.”

Mamata wants front

Mamata Banerjee called for a “secular democratic front” opposed to the CPM.

“Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has no moral right to continue,” she said.

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