While the order of the Supreme Court on Wednesday indirectly put a stamp of sanctity on the results to the 2011 Assembly elections that saw Bengal’s 34-year old Marxist regime being crushed by a lady armed with a single agenda, the CPI-M and its partners continued to analyze Singur quite differently.
“We have already said that acquiring land against the wish of landowners was a mistake and we have adopted a different approach in our political line. However, the Left Front government had taken a decision to set up industries in Bengal and generate employment. That made land acquisition a necessity,” CPI-M state secretary, Suryakanta Mishra, said at Alumuddin Street shortly after chief minister Mamata Banerjee mocked the Marxists by lending words from Jyoti Basu’s famous remark on his comrades who stopped him from heading the United Front government in 1996. “For the Left Front,” said Banerjee, “Singur was not a historic blunder but a historic suicide.”
While Mishra argued that no matter what the Apex court said, returning around 998 acres of land to the owners would be a long and complex process, few in the Left camp questioned Banerjee’s sense of timing, if not her humour.
“Singur was a mistake and we cannot ideologically justify the decision taken by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his cabinet colleagues in the Left Front government of which we were a part. As Marxists we had taken an oath to give land to the tiller. How could we take the same land away from him? The Forward Bloc opposed the decision and our former Bengal secretary, Ashok Ghosh, even held a demonstration in Singur. Today, Mamata Banerjee has every right to say what she is saying because her government is the product of the Singur movement,” G Devarajan, national secretary of the Forward Bloc told HT from Delhi.
Asked how his party would observe a general strike in Bengal on September 2 with the Trinamool deciding to celebrate the Singur verdict on the streets the same day, Devarajan said: “This is a childish attempt to counter our movement and its quite unprecedented. We will observe the strike because it’s for the common people.”
RSP state secretary Kshiti Goswami had been very critical of land acquisition though he was serving as PWD minister in Bhattacharjee’s cabinet. “The verdict was not unexpected at all. We said several times that acquiring land against the wish of the people was wrong. Even Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee admitted that it was a mistake. But by the time we realised how deeply people had been affected, it was too late. Now, we have to build up a mass movement all over again,” said Goswami.