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Mamata ridicules Bloc stand

Dinhata/Alipurduar, March 29: Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today began her party’s campaign in north Bengal by slamming the Forward Bloc for toeing the CPM line and branding the latter unsympathetic to the next of kin of the Alipurduar bomb blast victims.

“The Forward Bloc should feel ashamed of sending ordinary people to face the bullets fired by the CPM’s police. Their party symbol might be a lion, but alas it is sans the mane. They will take in bullets, but not protest against the CPM’s misrule,” Mamata said at a gathering at Dinhata, while referring to the February 5, 2008 incident in which five Bloc supporters had fallen to police bullets.

Campaigning for her party’s candidate in Cooch Behar, Arghya Roy Pradhan, Mamata said the Bloc was tolerating the CPM excesses just to remain in power. “The people will answer to this in the elections and expose the Bloc as the stooge of the CPM. Even after their supporters fell to police bullets, the Bloc is using money power to rake in votes. The people will not let this happen,” she said.

At Dinhata, Mamata promised overall development for north Bengal with a separate secretariat for the region. “What the government allots for the North Bengal Development Council is nothing more than alms for a beggar. If we come to power in 2011, we will completely change the face of north Bengal by tapping its vast resources in tea tourism and forests,” she said.

At a workers’ meet in Alipurduar, Mamata met the wife of Chhotelal Gupta and the mother of Sanatan Das, both victims of the March 18 blast in Alipurduar Chowpathy. “Have you got any compensation? You will never get it as those who died are not CPM supporters,” she said.

Mamata said both Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Asok Bhattacharya had done nothing for the workers of the closed and abandoned tea garden. “The chief minister has not visited a single closed garden ever. Nor has he taken action against owners who have left the garden after owing the workers huge sums of their hard-earned money,” she said.

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