West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will on Wednesday address a long awaited rally in trouble-torn Nandigram amid the possibility of more protests in the area.
Bhattacharjee, who drew flak for not visiting Nandigram in the past year when the region flared up over the proposed land acquisition for a special economic zone (SEZ), claiming about 35 lives, leaving hundreds injured and several women raped, is likely to announce a compensation package for the victims.
Bhattacharjee would address the people at Tengua field in Nandigram in the afternoon amid heavy security. Sniffer dogs are being used to sanitise the area.
The visit is a challenge for Bhattacharjee since he himself has made several uncharitable comments about the agitation in the past.
After the area was brought under control by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadres in November in a "recapture" operation that saw unprecedented atrocities on the villagers, the chief minister has to prove that he belongs to everyone and not only his party supporters.
"Nandigram has been a lesson to me. We should not have gone ahead with the plan without necessary groundwork by our party," Bhattacharjee said on Tuesday, a day ahead of his visit. He apologised over the government's bid to acquire farmland there.