Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Left divided over SEZ land acquisition

[ 9 Jan, 2007 0155hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

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NEW DELHI: First Singur and then Nandigram. The killing of six persons
at Nandigram on Sunday is widening the fissures within the Left Front
with CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc attacking the CPM chief minister for not
getting the allies on board.

Like Singur, Left-inclined intellectuals have again issued a statement
deploring the violence in Nandigram.

On Monday, CPI (ML) workers also staged a demonstration outside AKG
Bhavan, CPM headquarters in the Capital, and demanded the resignation of
Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and scrapping of SEZ laws.

CPI national secretary D Raja said the Nandigram incident is "unfortunate."

Directly blaming the state government, Raja said, "The situation should
not have been allowed to reach this stage. I wish there was more
transparency. There is a need to convince everyone and evolve a
political consensus."

While clarifying that the Left constituents are not opposed to
industrial development, Raja said the stand of the Left parties on SEZs
would have repercussions on the national SEZ policy and therefore there
is a need to implement it in "transparent" manner in West Bengal.

RSP leader Abani Roy, critical of the manner in which land acquisition
in Singur was carried out, has also cautioned against its repetition in

But CPI (ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya is not convinced
with churning within the Left Front and considers it akin to 'running
with the hare and hunting with the hound' syndrome.

He dared the LF partners to quit from Bengal government if they are so
upset with Bhattacharjee. He also demanded release of CPI (ML) workers
in Bengal.

Left and left-of-centre intellectuals like Arundhati Roy, Romila Thapar,
Jean Dreze, Sumit Sarkar and others in a joint statement said the tense
situation in Nandigram is "likely to be repeated across the state if the
policy continues to be executed as it has, without consideration for
human rights, democratic procedures and livelihoods".

They called for the formation of an all-party peace committee in West
Bengal to ensure cessation of action against the villagers and an
immediate end to the forcible acquisition of land.


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