BUDDHADEB BHATTACHARJEE stuck to his guns and boldly reiterated that the Opposition in Nandigram was meted out the right treatment by “our (CPM) cadres and supporters”.
“Those who returned home merely followed the tactics of the Opposition… I stick to my stand. The violence there was not started by the CPM.”
The Bengal Chief Minister was responding to a query on whether he was right in saying the Opposition was paid back in their own coin.
Asked if he sounded more like a CPM leader than a Chief Minister, he appeared expansive and said: “I’m not above the party. I cannot deny my political identity. But since I’ve taken oath under the Constitution as Chief Minister, it would be my primary responsibility to run the administration.”
This is why his administration was now doing its best to restore peace and normalcy in Nandigram. “I sincerely think things are changing for the better. Confidence-building is now the top priority,” he added.
The district magistrate, he said, and other officials have been asked to ensure the safe return of the 700-odd still living in camps. He also announced that Rs 1 crore has been sanctioned from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the evicted persons who have returned.
The chief minister lost his cool when a reporter of a vernacular daily referred to the comparison between him and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
“You can go on writing whatever you like. For the last year, your paper has been constantly writing provocative reports and comments. Any other administration would have taken action against the paper.”