The exit of ABG Haldia Bulk Terminals (HBT) from the state has come as a shot in the arm for the Congress, the former alliance partner of the ruling Trinamool Congress.
The South Kolkata district unit of the state Congress organised a meeting in front of Jadu Babu Bazar on Friday where around 500 party activists protested against the "failure of the government and the state administration" to provide sufficient security to ABG employees at Haldia port.
State Congress secretary Ashim Basu said, "In a rerun of the Singur episode, where the Tatas pulled out their Nano project the state, ABG has also left Bengal. The chief minister is talking about industrialisation but turning the state into an industrial desert in reality," Basu said.
The Youth Congress had taken out a protest rally on the same issue on Thursday and burnt the chief minister's effigy at Moulali. The Congress has plans in place to launch a bigger protest movement over the Haldia crisis later this month. "We will be organising a huge rally in Kolkata later this month. Senior leaders of the state Congress as well as a host of central ministers will attend the meeting," a Youth Congress spokesperson said.
The Congress will hold a rally on Rani Rashmoni Road on November 8. It will be addressed by the three newly appointed Central ministers from Bengal - Adhir Chowdhury, Deepa Das Munshi and Abu Hashem Khan Chowdhury.
The Left parties, too, are embarking on several protest programmes on the issue. The DYFI will observe November 5 as Haldia Day. "We will hold daylong rallies and meetings across the state to tell the people that this government is an enemy of industry," DYFI president Abhas Roy Chowdhury said.
Even the BJP is to hit the streets over the Haldia issue. "ABG's exit will further reinforce the damaging image of the state and all the chief minister's attempts at wooing industrialists will prove futile," state BJP president Rahul Sinha said.