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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Don't draw parallels with Singur or Nandigram, says Mamata, insists she's against any wrongdoing

BJP on two-day sit-in near Gandhi statue against worsening law and order in Bengal; freed on bail, CPM leader Nirapada Sardar addresses Press

Arnab Ganguly Calcutta Published 28.02.24, 08:44 PM
Mamata Banerjee.

Mamata Banerjee. File picture.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that no parallels should be drawn between Nandigram and Singur with the events unfolding at Sandeshkhali, without naming the trouble spot that has become an embarrassment for the ruling Trinamul.

“Remember Singur is Singur, Nandigram is Nandigram, Khatra is Khatra and Bishnupur is Bishnupur. Each place has its own characteristics. So do not compare one with the other,” Mamata said during an administrative review meeting at Bankura’s Khatra.

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Without taking any names, Mamata warned, no one should make the mistake of inciting violence.

“I do not want any bloodshed and any incident of torture anywhere. I do not support any wrongdoing and I won’t do that ever in my life. Even if some wrong was unknowingly committed somewhere, I do not support that as well,” she said.

In Calcutta, the former CPM MLA from Sandeshkhali, Nirapada Sardar, who was granted bail by the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday, said he had tried to raise the Sandeshkhali issue on the floor of the Assembly but was silenced.

“Whenever I tried to speak about Sandeshkhali on the floor of the Assembly, the microphone would be switched off. No one paid any heed to me,” Sardar said at a press conference organised by the CPM’s peasants’ wing, Krishak Sabha.

Sardar was arrested on February 11 on charges of inciting violence in Sandeshkhali.

“On February 5, around 50-60 women went to the local police station demanding their hard-earned money. They did not get the money, instead were attacked. This time the locals had enough and decided to resist,” said Sardar.

On Sunday, the Trinamul’s all-India general secretary and Diamond Harbour MP, Abhishek Banerjee, had questioned why Sardar was silent, why he did not go to the press?

“The floor of the Assembly is where the people’s representatives must raise the issue concerning the people of the constituencies. Whatever I might have said outside would have been meaningless,” said Sardar. “Now they (the Trinamul government) is saying land will be returned. That means they accept wrongdoing.”

A CPM delegation led by the state secretary Mohammad Salim and Sardar will visit Sandeshkhali on Thursday.

“The Centre cannot stop payment of dues. The state government says it will pay the dues from its coffers. The government should publish the list of beneficiaries. We suspect the government is trying to buy votes,” said Sardar.

The former MLA expressed doubt on whether Shahjahan will be arrested within seven days, as claimed by Trinamul spokesperson Kunal Ghosh.

“If she wants Shahjahan can be arrested today. If she does not want 50 more days will pass but he will remain in hiding,” he said alluding to the chief minister.

On Wednesday, the state BJP started a two-day sit-in demonstration at Mayo Road near the Gandhi statue against the worsening law and order situation in the state.

On Saturday, leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, who was among Mamata’s trusted lieutenants during the movement in Nandigram in 2007, had said the situation in Sandeshkhali was similar to Nandigram.

“Women in Nandigram were not subjected to sexual assault day after day, but later 307 women were raped in a single day.” Adhikari said addressing a press conference at the state BJP office in Salt Lake. “In both the places, irrespective of political leanings people have protested against the atrocities. In Nandigram Lakshman Seth had the blessings of CPM, while here Shahjahan is being protected by the Trinamul.”

Earlier, Adhikari alleged in his X account that Shahjahan was under police protection since last night.

“He was taken away from Bermajur-II gram panchayat area after he managed to negotiate a deal with the Mamata police, through influential mediators, that he would be taken care of properly while in police and judicial custody. He will be extended 5-star facilities during his time behind the bars and will have access to a mobile phone through which he will be able to lead the Tolamool party virtually. Even a bed in the Woodburn ward will be kept ready and vacant for him if he chooses to spend some time there,” Adhikari claimed.

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