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News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

Left partners contradict each other on Singur

Statesman News Service KOLKATA, Jan. 4: Contradictions in Left views became evident as the CPI-M and Forward Bloc leadership, during meetings of their respective central committees, tried to take stock of the political crisis over Singur and other places where the state wants to acquire land for industry and special economic zones. While Bloc leaders blamed the state government’s “unprecedented style of functioning” in Singur and demanded bonus shares in the Tata car factory for affected farmers in addition to the compensation package, the CPI-M said it never made any such demand. The Forward Bloc alleged that the possibility of finding an alternative site for the factory was never assessed by the Front leadership while CPI-M general secretary Mr Prakash Karat alleged that the Opposition was “misrepresenting” the Tata small car factory as a SEZ although during the recent agitation neither Miss Mamata Banerjee nor any leader of the Singur Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee made such a claim. The CPI central leadership also started its three-day meeting in the city today. Singur was one of the major issues on their agenda. It was learnt that CPI general secretary Mr AB Bardhan criticised the manner in which land is being acquired. It was apparent that the allies had trained their guns at the chief minister. Almost repeating the demands of the Trinamul Congress, Forward Bloc national secretary Mr Debabrata Biswas demanded withdrawal of prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in Singur, withdrawal of all police cases and release of those arrested so that “normalcy can be restored”. On the other hand, at the end of the three-day meeting of the CPI-M central committee, Mr Karat backed Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s policy on land use, even as he claimed that the party prescribes a major overhaul of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 and wants to undo some “objectionable points” in the new Central Act on SEZ. He maintained that at no point did his party object to acquisition of agricultural land in Bengal or other states for industries and SEZs. The problem in Nandigram and Singur are not of the same nature, said Mr Karat. “Wherever land is acquired the Left front partners are discussing the issue. We offered various suggestions on acquisition of land but we did not specifically ask for allotment of shares for ousted farmers and bargadars”, he said although quite a different picture emerged at the Bloc central committee meeting. “All the landowners and bargadars (in Singur) are being compensated at a level which does not deprive them of their due. Various steps for rehabilitating those who will lose their livelihood in the area concerned are also being put in place. The Left Front government has formulated a land use policy which should become the basis for the use of land for industrial and development projects,” Mr Karat said. “However, the government is willing to discuss any anomalies in the compensation package. The central committee feels that the project is good. The charges by the Opposition are motivated,” he added.

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posted by Bimal 5.1.07,


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