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Brand Buddha gets flak from colleagues

Buddhadeb faced flak from his colleagues for not educating the party cadre over the deal with Tata Motors.

india Updated: May 26, 2006 22:51 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya faced flak from his colleagues, including his predecessor Jyoti Basu, for not educating the party cadre over the deal with Tata Motors to build a small car in Kolkata.

There was more trouble for the reformist chief minister as state Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) secretary Biman Bose blasted the media for projecting Bhattacharya as a brand.

"What has happened yesterday is very bad. We need land for industry but they (Tata Motors) should have been prepared for that," Basu told reporters in Kolkata in his reaction to the angry demonstration and cordoning of Tata Motors officials inspecting land for their dream small car project.

"I have asked Buddha why they did not prepare them. This should have never happened," the 92-year-old elder statesman and CPI-M politburo member said.

"The party and Krishak Sabha (peasant wing of CPI-M) should have been informed and prepared as well. The villagers feared losing their lands. Everyone should be apprised of what is happening," Basu said.

Tata Motors officials Thursday faced angry demonstrations by the villagers at Singur in Hooghly district of West Bengal where the auto major has announced plans to set up its small car factory after acquisition of farmlands.

Bose, on the other hand, said that "Brand Buddha" was an expression popularised by the media to highlight the acceptance of reformist and industry-friendly Buddhadeb among industrialists and voters.

But while defending the chief minister's industrial policy and land acquisition moves, he flayed the "Brand Buddha" propaganda by the media.

"Brand Buddha slogan is aimed at derailing the career of Buddhadeb. First jack him up and then fling him to the ground. That is your policy," he said, making clear the displeasure of the party to sole projection of the chief minister for the government's success.

"I know what the media is capable of. When you play a constructive role I will use superlatives for you," he said.

He squarely blamed the electronic media for Thursday's trouble in Hooghly for approaching the villagers with cameras and projecting the whole incident in an oblique manner.

Bose said the industrialists are not drawn to Bengal by "viewing the face of the media" but the work of the Left Front.

"What you are sending is wrong signals," he said.

First Published: May 26, 2006 22:51 IST