March 29, 2009

UPA and NDA will lose partners after the polls: Buddhadeb

Kolkata, March 29: Both the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will lose partners after the Lok Sabha polls leading to the consolidation of the Third Front, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said Sunday.

“The efforts to cobble up a non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and non-Congress alternative will gain a more distinct shape in the post poll situation. Partners will come out of both the UPA and the NDA,” Bhattacharjee, a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader, said in an interview to his party’s mouthpiece Ganashakti.

“The new force that will see consolidation in that scenario must have a common minimum programme,” he added.Bhattacharjee said the leftists will have to play a role in such a situation. “We will perform our duty.”

The CPI-M politburo member felt the Third Front had become relevant now both in terms of its strength and number of constituents.“But this is not enough. We have to consolidate the front by holding discussions. The process has already started, and such dialogue will continue even after the polls.”

In an obvious reference to the Congress and the BJP ridiculing the Third Front for its large number of prime ministerial hopefuls, Bhattacharjee said adopting the right programme was the main pre-requisite for forming an alternative government.“The leftists are laying stress on drawing up such a programme, and not on any party or leader,” he said.

Bhattacharjee said the leftists will take a call on joining a Third Front government after reviewing the post-poll situation.He said the leftists’ main aim in the Lok Sabha elections is to form an alternative non-Congress and non-BJP government. He claimed that there was a distinct possibility of the leftists, and secular and democratic regional parties getting a majority.


KOLKATA, 28th MARCH: A reality now, more than ever, rather than a theoretical compose the Third Front with the Left in the van shall direct the shape of the Lok Sabha that shall be formed after the Lok sabha election. This was Biman Basu, state secretary, Bengal CPI (M) at the massive convention of Left student-youth in Kolkata at a packed indoor Stadium in the afternoon hours of 28 March, the anti-unemployment day.

Biman Basu said in clear tones that both the bourgeois alliances, one led by the Congress the other by the religious fundamentalist BJP, were breaking apart in front of their own eyes, and they stand helpless. The Third Front gains strength continuously and is spreading its political wings across a larger and ever larger footprint across India.

Explaining that it had been the Left students-youth organisations that had commenced observing the anti-unemployment day from back in 1973, the speaker said that the young generation of the Left had also played an exemplary role in the struggle against quasi-fascism and lumpen terror that Bengal bled under during the 1970s. The relevance of 28 March shall continue to be relevant until an end was wrought of exploitation, deprivation, and the ruling class control over the means of production.

Extending his arguments into analysing the massive economic recession that has slowed down production and has resulted in billions of people losing job especially in the capitalist world, the Bengal LF chairman said that more than a hundred million young men and women stand to lose employment in India itself over the next year or so. By 2020, the rate of unemployment itself shall reach 30% in the sub-continent. In just over a decade’s worth of time-scale India shall be burdened with the presence of eleven crore jobless youth.

As we speak today, said the senior CPI (M) leader, India has lost 1.5 million men and women in the organised sector alone. Five lakh people connected with the once-lucrative ornaments trade and calling has become without a viable means of livelihood. The sunrise Info-Tech industry is expected to shed 50 thousand jobs, come the next half-a-year. BPO will see 2.5 lakh jobs go down the drain, adding to the burden of joblessness.

The country groans under misery of the financial kind because of the fatuous way the ruling classes have clung to the capitalist path and has seen the light at the end of the tunnel in ‘globalisation.’ The Left has cautioned the people during the earlier Lok Sabha polls against the expected facet of the Congress policy of towing the economic policy of the NDA rĂ©gime, and that proved disastrous for the nation, especially for the toiling masses.

The Left has lent its outside support to the UPA governance strictly based on the few pro-people aspects of the CMP, aspects that the Congress did not follow while selling the nation downstream to imperialism and its lackeys. This resulted in the correct decision of the CPI (M) and the Left in withdrawing support.
Biman also mentioned the u holy alliances that had come together in Bengal against the CPI (M) and the Left Front. As he put, the masses shall bid good night to the forces of darkness whose surreptitious alliance was forged not in the broad day light but in the darkness of the night. Biman was also thoroughly critical of the way the opposition had suddenly started to shed what were clearly tears of sham and falsity for the adivasis.

The opposition was also playing the Communal card as dangerously as the young stalwart of the BJP was doing with imp unity at the national level—and getting away with it. Biman called upon the youth to be politically active in dealing a blow to the hopes and evil ambitions of the opposition in the Lok Sabha polls all over Bengal. A win in Bengal for the CPI (M) and the Left would improve the prospects that much more for the Left-led Third Front. Student and youth leaders, too, addressed the vast gathering, a gathering that was big enough to take a long time to disperse.

Third Front's prospect brightening, says Buddhadeb

Siliguri (WB),28th March : With the desertions of certain partners in the UPA and NDA, the prospect of the Third Front faring better in the Lok Sabha polls is "brightening fast", West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Sunday. "The poll prospect of the Left-led Third Front is brightening fast and it will form the government at the Centre," he said in a party workers' meet at Bidhannagar, about 35 km from here.

Mr. Bhattacharjee criticised the Congress for negotiating with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on seeking the hill organisation's support for its candidate Dawa Narbula in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat. "It is pathetic to see that the Congress has kept aside its political stand to bag one seat," he said.

The CPI(M) leader ruled out any division of West Bengal to create Gorkhaland as demanded by GJM. "The state government is ready for further development of Darjeeling Hills, but there must not be any separation," he said.

He criticised Opposition parties for creating controversy over acquisition of farm land to set up industry in West Bengal and said they had been constantly opposing development in the state.
Blaming the Congress for rise in prices of essentials, he alleged 180,000 farmers had committed suicide during the UPA rule on account of its anti-poor policies.

Singur people want Nano back: Buddhadeb

KOLKATA, Saturday, 28 March , 2009: Global auto major Tata Motors may have moved out its Nano plant from the state but the people of Singur still want the project, says West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. "People of Singur want the factory over there, they are very hopeful and I have conveyed this to the higher authorities of the Tata Group," Bhattacharjee said in an interview to a private regional news channel here.

Singur, 40 km from here in the state's Hooghly district, had turned into a battleground for about two-and-a-half years since May 2006 after the state government allotted land for the Nano project. On Oct 3 last year the company announced it had scrapped its plans to bring out the small car, priced at Rs.100,000, from the Singur facility. The plant was shifted to Sanand in Gujarat.

Tata Motors wound up its Singur plant following sustained protests by a Trinamool Congress-led farmers agitation demanding return of 400 of the 997.11 acres acquired for the project. The agitators alleged that the 400 acres were forcibly taken by the government from farmers unwilling to part with their land.

"I am trying to set up a factory in that plot in Singur. We have already spoken to a few Indian as well as foreign companies. In fact, now our industry secretary is in China talking to a company over there," the chief minister said. He, however, said whichever company sets up a plant in Singur, the government would ensure that it generates as much employment as the Nano project was supposed to do and "if possible even more than that". "It is very important that the youth of the state get employment," he said.

Talking about land acquisition and the compensation that was provided by the government to the farmers of Singur who gave their land for the Nano project, he said: "Around 85-86 per cent of the farmers have taken compensation and of the remaining 10-15 per cent many do not stay in India and few others don't have proper papers of the land. That means the number of unwilling farmers were really small."

"I failed to make the opposition understand the meaning of ancillary industries. They didn't understand that this was an integrated project and 400 acres cannot be given away like that. Giving away 400 acres would have meant stalling the project," he added.

Referring to the meeting between the Left Front government and the Trinamool at the behest of Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi Sep 7 on the issue, Bhattacharjee said: "We didn't sign any deal that night regarding the land in Singur. It was a joint statement in which we stated that we will give back as much land as possible keeping the project intact.

"Later our officials did a detailed study and found out 70 acres from the project, which we were ready to return keeping the nature of the project intact," he said. He said the Left Front government did not believe in using brute force. "In Singur, 80 per cent work was done and we thought we could start the factory. But after the attack on engineers we had to resort to applying force. Otherwise we didn't have any problems with the agitation that the opposition was doing, had they been doing it in democratic way," Bhattacharjee said. He said his government was against using fertile land for industrialisation. "But there is only one per cent fallow land available in the state and it is not possible to set up all the industries on it," Bhattacharjee said.

Regarding the police firing in Nandigram March 14, 2007, he said: "I will always feel sorry for what happened in Nandigram March 14. Police did not go there to torture the locals, they went there along with people of the municipal department to repair road. We even had sought opposition's help that day. But suddenly everything changed and so many people died in the clash."

The state government's efforts to set up a chemical hub project in Nandigram also came unstuck in 2007 following stiff resistance from the Trinamool-led farmers. The project has now been relocated to Nayachar island near Haldia in East Midnapore district. Singur and Nandigram are exceptional cases and do not reflect the trend in the state, the chief minister said. "In Nayachar, we are trying to start work as fast as possible," he added.

Left goes digital, scripts Nandigram, Singur stories to win back rural Bengal

Express News Service
Posted online: Mar 28, 2009 at 0445 hrs

Kolkata : Stung by the growing strength of Trinamool Congress in rural West Bengal as exhibited in the last year’s panchayat polls, the ruling CPI(M) is now banking on digital mediums to reach to its grassroots supporters.

The CPI(M) does not want to make the two episodes - the Nandigram and Singur debacles — its Achilles’ heel and hence it has created CDs to put across the party’s view on industrialisation to the voters. All the 26,000-odd party units throughout the state have been asked to show the audio-video CDs in their respective areas.

“The idea is still in a preliminary stage,” says CITU state president Shyamal Chakraborty, in-charge of producing these CDs, adding that the party will produce a full length film on the issue.
Another reason for adopting the modern mass communication tool is that the CPI(M) lacks crowd-pullers and stalwarts like Jyoti Basu, sources say.

So, the party’s election strategists have decided to take the help of modern equipment to attract voters, especially the young voters in rural Bengal. The party has already produced a CD comprising Basu’s speech which will be distributed after April 16. “More are coming. The party has planned to make CDs of the conflict areas in Bengal politics,” said a senior leader of the CPI(M).

On Friday, one of the CPI(M)-backed directors of a city theatre gave a sneak preview of the proposed film on Singur to a select group of CITU leaders. “First, we will see this and then it will be distributed among the supporters,” said CITU state secretary Kali Ghosh.

Sources in the CITU said the rushes contain details on the case of Suhrid Dutta, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on charges of masterminding the gruesome murder of teenager Tapasi Malik. “The film will show how he was implicated in the case,” said a leader. “Suhrid Dutta’s case has tarnished the image of the party, so we have to react. We think this issue is still alive in the minds of the people,” he added.


KOLKATA(INN): Mamta Banerjee has declared the intention long back. The fact of her intent is now being fructified by the reckless desperadoes of the Trinamulis and their Maoist minders at Nayachar, as a recent visit proved. This was out second visit to this ‘char’ land in the mouth of the Hooghly River. The Nayachar enclave straddles the river and in equidistant from Haldia and Falta industrial zones. One has to touch the shores of the vast empty land (bar for a few fishingfolk’s huts, around two dozen in number) by sailing on one of those ubiquitous motorised dinghies called in the sonorous and common Bengali noun of bhoot-bhooti.

The first time we had visited the place back in February of this year, the place looked desolate. 54 square km of the ‘char’ had been acquired by the state LF government without any resistance or opposition from the fishing folk or even the self-proclaimed ‘environmentalist lobby,’ for the union government-approved petro-chemical products investment region (PCPIR). The rest of the area was filled with shrubs and wild grass.

The change was startling when we recently paid another visit to Nayachar. All on a sudden, we noted the quick increase in the number of hutments. We also found deep dug out. A full-fledged Krishi Ucchhed Pratirodh Committee’ (KUPC) has been formed mostly with Maoist participation. The number hutments had gone up at an incredible rate, from a dozen-odd to several dozens.

The east Midnapore unit of the CPI (M) informed us that they had authentic news that 50 hardened Trinamuli-Maoist killers of Nandigram had been despatched and ‘settled in’ at the ‘char’ land. These goons carried a large cache of arms. They come mostly from the localities of Kendemari, Shrigauri, and Bachhurmari of Nandigram 1 and 2. Others have come from Sagardwip and the abutting coastal zones of south 24 Parganas and east Midnapore. The Maoist chief ‘Kishan’ has already circulated a VCD where the Nayachar issue has been noted and later transcribed into a CP (Maoist) party letter that has been propagated in Midnapore east and at Nayachar.

According to Party sources, the work of making mines and other explosives has already started at the locale of the ‘char’ land, which is thickly shrubbed and has no habitation. This is yet to be confirmed but we have no reason to disbelieve the local fishingfolk, once friendly to us, trembling in fear this time around when asked about the plethora of ‘new people,’ coming into Nayachar and going away from the island.

The desolate areas are Baolatala, Bishalaxmi, and Khejurtala. We learn that the Maoists would start the ‘action programme’ right after the Lok Sabha elections are over under ‘earnest request’ from the Trinamuli chieftains. Maoist leader Sheikh Gaushal of south 24 Parganas is apparently the ‘coordinator’ with the Trinamuli hoods of the ‘char’ land.