Allies hold up Reliance deal

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  • Published 17.05.07

Calcutta, May 17: The Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s formal approval of its deal with Reliance Retail on restructuring the Park Circus market has been postponed again.

Apparently, the CPM leadership buckled under pressure from its allies — the RSP, CPI and the Forward Bloc.

The allies claimed that Alimuddin Street has asked mayor and CPM leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya to go slow on the Reliance deal after they threatened to boycott tomorrow’s mayor-in-council meeting.

“The Reliance issue is not on the agenda of the mayor-in-council meeting. So, we won’t discuss it,’’ the mayor said.

But the three allies opposed to Reliance’s entry claimed that agenda papers circulated today included the deal. “We have decided to block the discussion and threaten to boycott the meeting if the mayor tries to get the deal passed tomorrow,’’ said CPI city unit secretary Prabir Deb.

The mayor has been strongly defending the CMC’s move to lease out the market for “redevelopment” to the Mukesh Ambani-led group after it won the tender floated by the civic body. But he failed to obtain the mayor-in-council’s formal approval for the deal as the discussion was deferred despite being on the agenda for a meeting on May 4.

“We want the CMC to defer the discussion on the Reliance deal as the Left Front will decide on the entry of Reliance in retail market in Bengal. The CPM leadership has also agreed to a discussion,’’ said Bloc leader Naren Chatterjee, also the chairman of state marketing board, which has blocked the Reliance venture in agriculture retail business.