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CPI(M) isolated in crucial Left Front meet in Bengal

The Forward Bloc announces that it would oppose acquisition of agricultural land and setting up of SEZ in the state, reports Aloke Banerjee

india Updated: Feb 06, 2007 23:05 IST
Aloke Banerjee
Aloke Banerjee

With resistance against the Bengal government's land acquisition for industries and infrastructure gaining momentum and spreading, a major partner of the Left Front - the Forward Bloc - announced on Tuesday that from now on it would hit the streets and oppose acquisition of agricultural land and setting up of Special Economic Zones in the state.

Bloc's public announcement comes two days before the crucial Left Front meeting to be held on Thursday to take policy decision on land acquisition, relaxation of land ceiling in the state and setting up of SEZ particularly in Nandigram.

After maintaining silence for several weeks, the Forward Bloc's decision to join the chorus with the CPI and the RSP, is sure to further isolate the CPI(M) on the issue of industrialisation in Bengal during the much awaited Front meeting to be attended by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and industries minister Nirupam Sen..

Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh said on Tuesday that the state government was enticing farmers with money so that they gave up their agricultural land for industries. "This is bound to have dangerous consequences for agriculture," the veteran leader observed.

In the select committee meeting of the state assembly held during the day, the Forward Bloc joined the CPI and the RSP in opposing the state government's move to relax land ceiling saying that such a move would reverse land reforms and once again introduce zamindari system in the state.

The sudden change of stance of the Forward Bloc, which was of the opinion even in the last Left Front meeting that Singur was a closed chapter, was an indication that the coming Front meeting would be a stormy one. The CPI and the RSP have already gone on record saying that they would oppose the state government's land acquisition policy during the Front meeting.

According to insiders, the Forward Bloc, CPI and the RSP have begun coordinating among themselves to corner the CPI(M) during the Front meeting. They would oppose the chief minister's model of industrialisation with an attempt to force the government to go slow on land acquisition at least till the panchayat elections next year.

The veteran Forward Bloc leader demanded that land acquisition be halted till the government formed a detailed land use map of the entire state. He also demanded that Land Use Committees be formed in every district to give permission for changing the character of land.

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First Published: Feb 06, 2007 23:05 IST