The storm brewing over the Forward Bloc’s objection to Metro Cash & Carry’s agro-wholesale business in Bengal turned into a crisis for the ruling Left Front late Friday evening when the Bloc threatened to pull out of the coalition if foreign majors were allowed into farm trade.
The party has decided that none of its four ministers will attend office from Monday. The deputy speaker as well as the chairman of the Agricultural Marketing Board that suspended the firm’s licence in March also come from Forward Bloc.
CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose refused comment. Earlier the Bloc not only refused licence to Reliance Fresh and Keventers, but its supporters also ransacked several outlets of these firms.
Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh’sdecison came after the chief secretary wrote to the South 24 Parganas district magistrate, telling him to ask the district marketing department to renew the licence of the German company by September 30. The chief secretary reportedly said he was writing on behalf of the CM.
It was clear that the government was eager to help the German firm after its senior met the CM on Thursday. In fact, German consul general Gunter Wehrmann made things further uncomfortable for Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee when he announced that Germany might consider pulling out of all projects in eastern Indian if MCC’s licence was not renewed.