CPM backs Buddha, Basu calls for talks

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Calcutta
  • Published 22.12.06
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Calcutta, Dec. 22: The CPM today made it clear once again that despite the din created by the Opposition and the noises made by some Left Front partners, it is firmly behind Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government on the Tata Motors project in Singur.

Emerging from the party’s state secretariat meeting today, Jyoti Basu said: “How will (Mamata Banerjee’s) hunger strike help? The Tata unit will come up in Singur. Not only that, other projects will come up in Singur too, and more automobile companies will come to the state.”

On Trinamul’s claim that land for the Singur project had been forcibly acquired, Basu said: “There is no provision in the (land acquisition) law making it obligatory for the government to seek consent for acquiring land. Yet the government has sought it. And the government is correct when it says that it has got the consent of all farmers whose land it has acquired.”

The chief minister, too, refuted Trinamul’s charge that the government had acquired 387 acres by force. “That’s not true. Industries minister Nirupam Sen will soon publish detailed documents on the land acquisition pro- cess in Singur.” He had said the same to the governor at a meeting yesterday.

The 93-year-old CPM patriarch expressed concern over the Trinamul chief’s health. “Why is she fasting for so long? She is young and has to lead many more movements in the future. She must end her fast immediately and talk to Buddha and Nirupam”.

Trinamul MP Dinesh Trivedi had met Basu on Wednesday. The MP said Mamata was “touched by the genuineness of Basu’s concerns”.

From her sit-in dais at Esplanade, Mamata today slammed the Centre, saying it has joined hands with the Bengal government to work against farmers. “Even after 19 days of my fast, the Centre has not shown any interest in persuading the state to protect the Singur farmers. Both the Union and state governments are anti-farmer, anti-people.”

The UPA government’s intention, she alleged, was to “finish off the Opposition in Bengal” to ensure the CPM’s support in Delhi.

The Trinamul chief insisted that she would call off her fast only if the land “forcibly acquired” for the Tata project was returned.

A party document had yesterday said that 387 acres had been “forcibly acquired” in Singur. But Mamata told a gathering today that owners had not given consent to the acquisition of 406 acres.