Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee returned to Singur on Saturday after three years. But all she talked about at her rally was Lalgarh.
Admitting that her victory run began from the 997-acre plot of land that was acquired for the Tatas' small car factory in 2006, Banerjee said she had not been able to do anything for those who lost their land.
She was speaking on the day when the police dragged her out of the Singur block development office in 2006, as she raised the demand that the land acquisition plan be scrapped.
In 2006, the West Bengal government started acquiring land for the Tata group's small car factory at Singur in Hoogly district, about 40 km from Kolkata.
From the beginning, farmers refused to part with their land. On September 25, 2006, Banerjee began a movement against land acquisition, which snowballed into a massive national issue.
Finally, the Tatas abandoned the factory site on October 3, 2008. And Banerjee was back in the reckoning in the largely Left-dominated politics of Bengal.
Although Banerjee promised at her controversial August 9 rally at Lalgarh, the Maoist hotbed in West Midnapore, that Singur farmers would get back 400 acres once her party came to power, she avoided repeating the promise on Saturday.
Mamata talked about Lalgarh, instead. She said her party would initiate a protest move in Delhi, demanding the withdrawal of the joint security forces operations in the Maoist-hit districts — West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.
"The central forces have done their part and now they should return. We cannot let the forces be used for the CPI(M)'s political ground capturing operation," she said.
She even vowed in front of the abandoned Nano factory to hold another rally at Lalgarh if the CPM held any "victory rally" at Lalgarh after the Maoists rebels were pushed out of the area, "as that would actually be the victory of terror".
Referring to the controversy over her statement that talks should be initiated with the Maoists, she said they, after all, were not separatists. "When I speak for dialogue with the Maoists, they call me a Maoist."
"How can CPM leaders justify meetings with Kashmiri separatists, who openly support another country?" she asked.