Ashok Ghosh at the rally. Picture by Jahangir Badsa
Tamluk, Dec. 23: Forward Bloc secretary Ashok Ghosh today publicly blamed the Bengal chief minister for the March 14 firing in Nandigram.
“It is true that Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had apologised for ordering the firing on his own in Nandigram (at a Left Front meeting on March 17). But the apology was of no use to people here. Will a mother get back her son killed in the firing?” he asked amid applause at the Bloc’s first rally in Nandigram since the war over land acquisition broke.
State agriculture minister Naren De and cooperation minister Rabin Ghosh were present at the rally that came three days ahead of Bhattacharjee’s public meeting here.
Thousands of Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee members sat with the Bloc supporters as Ghosh poured scorn on the chief minister and industries minister Nirupam Sen for adopting an industrial policy without taking the allies into confidence.
“When Jyoti Basu had adopted the industrial policy in 1994, he had discussed it with front partners and incorporated our suggestions. But neither Buddhababu nor Nirampambabu discussed anything about the current industrial policy. The CPM should not forget that we, too, are a part of the government,” he added.
The Bloc leader also lashed out at Biman Bose, the front chairman and CPM state secretary, for “rubbishing” his suggestion to hold a rally in Nandigram after the police firing.
“Bimanbabu turned down my proposal for a front rally in Nandigram although I had personally requested him. That is why we have taken the initiative to hold today’s rally on our own,” he said.
Truckloads of Bloc supporters were brought in from various districts, including Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and North and South 24-Parganas, as the party has hardly any support base in Nandigram.
Around 10,000 of them reached the Nandigram college ground, while many more were stranded in trucks that could not make their way across the narrow road.
The local CPM leadership did not attach any importance to the Bloc rally. “Why didn’t they visit Nandigram when our supporters and members were driven out of their homes?” asked Ashok Guria, a secretariat member of the party’s East Midnapore unit.
However, Pratirodh Committee members described the front rally as “an eye-opener” for the CPM, “which is responsible for our miseries”.