CPI-M patriarch Jyoti Basu on Friday endorsed his party's line that a "political conspiracy" has been hatched to stop the Tata Motors' small car project in Singur and to malign the West Bengal government by trying to implicate a party official in the alleged murder of a girl.
"The matter is under judicial review. Yet it is definitely a political conspiracy as it cannot be explained otherwise how Tapasi Malik's body could be dumped in our area (the Tata Motors project site)," Basu told reporters after the CPI-M's state secretariat meeting in Kolkata.
CPI-M's Singur zonal committee secretary Suhrid Dutta was arrested last night by the CBI in connection with Tapasi's murder, days after party supporter Debu Malik was nabbed for the same case.
This has become an embarrassment for the party, particularly at a time when the state government is trying to hard-sell an alternative rehabilitation package prepared by Industry Minister Nirupam Sen for those whose land was acquired for the Tata project.
Dutta played a key role in the acquisition of land and construction of the boundary wall for Tata's project that will build the Rs one lakh car.
Tapasi, the daughter of a sharecropper, was in the forefront of the movement launched by the Trinamool Congress- led Save Farmland Committee against the "forcible" acquisition of land in Singur.
On December 18 last year, her charred body was found on the land acquired for the project. Tapasi was allegedly raped before being killed.
Immediately after Dutta's arrest, state CPI-M secretariat member Benoy Konar reacted strongly, saying: "I feel it is a political conspiracy. A conspiracy is on to stop the car project.
"Dutta is a respected leader. How can he be involved in such an incident? It is not possible. If things go on like this, they may even arrest me. An effort is on to malign the party," Konar said.