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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Nandigram, Singur have no parallels: Mamata Banerjee in Sandeshkhali backdrop

Banerjee was, however, careful not to name Sandeshkhali directly while making that observation

PTI Bankura Published 28.02.24, 07:24 PM
Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee File picture

Rubbishing the BJP’s attempts to draw parallels between anti-land acquisition agitations in Nandigram and Singur in the past and those currently taking place in Sandeshkhali, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee insisted that the two cannot be compared.

Banerjee was, however, careful not to name Sandeshkhali directly while making that observation.

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"Remember Singur is Singur, Nandigram is Nandigram, Khatra is Khatra, and Bishnupur is Bishunupur. Each place has its own characteristics. So do not compare one with the other," the West Bengal chief minister said while speaking at the administrative review meeting held at Khatra in Bankura.

"Do not 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.

Several BJP leaders in the recent past have tried to corner the ruling Trinamool dispensation by drawing similarities of the anti-land grab agitations in Nandigram and Singur back in 2007-08.

While those agitations catapulted Banerjee to state power against the erstwhile ruling Left Front, the BJP suggested that the current Sandeshkhali agitations signified the turning of tides against Banerjee this time around.

On Saturday, Bengal’s Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari hit out at the state government and said, "The situation in Sandeshkhali is like Nandigram. In Nandigram, people fought against land acquisition and here people are fighting against land grab. Here, protests began after women started their movement against sexual harassment but land grabbing is the second most common allegation in Sandeshkhali." Adhikari, a former TMC leader had, incidentally, spearheaded his party’s agitation in Nandigram 16 years ago.

The ruling Trinamool disagrees with those alleged similarities. While the farmers’ agitation in Nandigram cut the area off from the rest of the state preventing the entry of police and administration into the region for long durations, there’s no such thing in Sandeshkhali, party sources say.

Also, unlike in Nandigram where police firing cost the life of 14 villagers on a single day followed by countless other deaths during the siege that followed, there has been no loss of life in Sandeshkhali, the party said.

Obliquely referring to the Sandeshkhali developments, Banerjee on Wednesday pointed fingers at those yelling about such comparisons.

"Some people are talking big. Do you want me to open my box? Then you will be able to understand which one is correct. I have several things stored there," she said, threatening to open the closet from where skeletons of her detractors could tumble out.

Referring to the BJP’s Khalistani jibe at a Sikh IPS officer, Banerjee also reiterated her “real communal face of the BJP” stand.

"When they see a Sikh IPS officer wearing pagdi (turban), they call him Khalistani. This is their real communal face," she claimed.

A Sikh IPS officer, who was deputed to prevent senior state BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari from visiting restive Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, last week slammed saffron party activists for allegedly dubbing him a 'Khalistani'.

BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul, accompanying Adhikari, claimed that the police officer wasn't fulfilling his duties, but dismissed the allegation that BJP supporters called him a 'Khalistani'.

Banerjee further claimed that several BJP-ruled states are copying the welfare schemes of her government.

"The BJP says we have not done any development for West Bengal. But the fact is that several states ruled by the saffron party are copying our projects," she said.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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