Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday gave an earful to the Left Front government in West Bengal, describing the events in Nandigram as unfortunate, condoling the loss of lives and regretting the destruction of property.
The prime minister said all sections of the population, regardless of their political views and affiliations, were entitled to and should receive protection of law enforcement authorities.
“I sincerely hope that the state government will be able to take necessary steps, restore confidence in people through the effective deployment of security forces,” the Singh said, referring to charges that the state neutralised police presence in Nandigram.
Singh also favoured a discussion on Nandigram in Parliament, a point on which the Left and the Opposition have been on a collision course.
Referring to wide spread protests against the alleged atrocities, Singh said, “I understand the spontaneous outpouring of grief and anguish over the issue as expressed by artists and intellectuals in Kolkata,” he said, reading from a prepared text. “I hope the state government will take note of this,” he added.
In Kolkata, West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya reacted: “I share his (the PM’s) concern and spirit.The state government has already taken several steps for restoring peace in Nandigram.