The West Bengal government neither admitted to committing blunders in Singur and Nandigram nor have incidents in these two places dented its image as a pro-poor government, CPIM leader Sitaram Yechury claimed on Saturday.
Yechury also refuted claims by the Left Front government's political opponents that land was forcibly acquired from farmers in Singur. "Not at all. No. We have brought this entire question of compensation to the national agenda. The compensation we are giving in Singur is the best and the most exemplary. And now everybody will have to follow suit," he said in an interview to the CNN-IBN programme, Devil's Advocate.
Yechury angrily denied that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had admitted that "a big blunder" had occurred in Nandigram: "there is no blunder. I'm sorry. Don't quote to me what appears in the press. I know what he said", Yechury added.
Yechury insisted that the authentic version of the Chief Minister was available on the West Bengal government's website where, according to Yechury, the Chief Minister said.
Insisting that neither CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee nor the West Bengal government had made a blunder or admitted to a blunder, Yechury said that the West Bengal government did not issue any notice for land acquisition in Nandigram. Second, he said that the Haldia Development Authority had only issued ``some instruction'' but not an actual notification for land acquisition.
Third, Yechury added that the Haldia Development Authority (HAD) did not have the mandate to issue a notice for land acquisition. As he explained: "The question of land acquisition is a right, which the state government has. Any other authority that may issue any other orders is absolutely out of its mandate.''
Further, Yechury insisted that as soon as the action by the HDA came to light the state government revoked the order.
Asked how the government's position that 954 acres out 997 acres were voluntarily surrendered could stand up against Mamta Banerjee's assertion that the owners of 464 acres had filed affidavits in court asserting that they had refused to sell their land and refused to accept compensation, Yechury replied: "What she has given is being inquired into by the state government and till now 350 acres of what she claims as part of the acquired land is outside of this land. The affidavits that have been filed do not fall under the purview of the acquired land. 350 acres is entirely from outside.''