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Battle royal for Hooghly

india Updated: Apr 30, 2011 14:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee traded charges in Hooghly on Friday.

Speaking at Dhaniakhali, Banerjee threatened action against CPI(M) leaders, "who siphoned off development funds". The chief minister thundered back at Arambagh that the Trinamool is using black money to fund its campaign and would turn the state into hell. This came a day after chief election commissioner termed as inconclusive the evidence supplied by housing development minister Gautam Deb to prove allegations that Trinamool used black money.

Countering Red terror, which haunted the Opposition in Arambagh for over a decade, the chief minister said Trinamool is playing the same game. "They are crying terror while actually it is they who are creating terror. The eighth Left Front government will ensure safety and security of public life," said Bhattacharjee.

The chief minister reiterated that industry will return to Singur. Banerjee stuck to her stand of returning 400 acres to farmers who were unwilling to part with land. Her dream of industry will only encompass 600 acres.

Speaking at Arambagh and Pandua, Bhattacharjee said, "We won’t let the Opposition stall our industrialisation drive." The Trinamool chief promised at Dhaniakhali and Haripal, "We’ll bring industries but not a single farmer's land will be taken forcefully." She also promised a textile hub at Dhaniakhali, where a significant number of the population is dependent on handloom industry, which spins out saris. Banerjee herself is known to wear saris from Dhaniakhali and had even gifted one to Sonia Gandhi after the Lok Sabha polls in 2009.

While Bhattacharjee said law and order situation will deteriorate if the Opposition comes to power, Banerjee claimed the opposite and said the situation can only improve. Speaking as if she is gazing into a crystal ball, Banerjee, donning a soothsayer's cloak, said the Left Front government will end in 10 days.

Bhattacharjee countered that a false propaganda has been floated that the people of Bengal want change. Then borrowing Banerjee's crystal ball, he said, "They do not want change. It's false propaganda."