As the red brigade charged into Nandigram and police wielded batons at intellectuals 150 km away in Kolkata, Left Front allies declared a rebellion and held the CPM solely responsible for the violence. “The party has indulged in more violence in the name of restoring peace,” said a senior leader.
Apparently jilted by the step brotherly attitude shown by the CPM in the last few days, Forward Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh on Sunday held a two hour meeting with RSP state secretary Debabrata Bandopadhyay and CPI state secretary Manju Majumdar.
All senior leaders from the three parties were present at the meeting, including PWD minister Kshiti Goswami who announced his decision to step down from the state cabinet.
“Nandigram and its adjoining areas are witnessing incessant violence. And it seems that they are taking to violence and acts of revenge to find a solution to the problem. We neither support nor approve this. We condemn the acts and hold the CPM solely responsible,” said the resolution jointly passed by the three parties, often described by the media as the ‘mini front’.
“We demand immediate action from the administration to restore peace. It is possible to do so through a socio-political exercise,” said the resolution. Interestingly the statement was readout by Majumdar whose party stood by the CPM in condemning governor Gopal Kirishna Gandhi for his criticism on the Nadigram violence.
According to sources, the CPI state leadership was virtually forced to toe the line of its partners because Forward Bloc national general secretary Debabrata Bandopadhyay had taken up the matter with his counterparts in the CPI and CPM. Bandopadhyay told A.B. Bardhan and Prakash Karat that his party will not follow in the footsteps of the CPM on the Nandigram issue.
Though Goswami was asked to reconsider his decision on stepping down from the government, the senior RSP leader said he will not attend office from Monday and will send back his official car and security guard.
Goswami had compared the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government’s role in Nandigram to that of Narendra Modi’s during the riots. “People of Nandigram wont forgive him (Goswami) for saying this,” CPM central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty said.