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Nandigram issue: CPI(M) to hold its first public meeting

The public rally to be held in front of the Nandigram bloc office on April 19 will attempt to sooth the ire of the people of the area, reports Aloke Banerjee.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2007 22:32 IST

Three months after Nandigram erupted into flame protesting against land acquisition for a chemical hub and a month after police bullets took lives of 14 protestors, the CPI(M) will hold its first public meeting in the disturbed area.

The public rally to be held in front of the Nandigram bloc office on April 19 will attempt to sooth the ire of the people of the area.

If this is good news for the CPI(M), bad news is a plenty. “We will assemble in front of the block office. But we will not enter the villages.

The situation is not conducive and the local people are still against us,” admitted acting secretary of CPI(M)’s East Midnapore district committee Nirmal Jana candidly.

“We can’t even go to the four disturbed anchals. How can we campaign in Nandigram? It will take time,” said district secretariat member Ashok Guria.

The CPI(M) is still completely isolated from the people Nandigram, Jana admitted. It was decided to hold chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s meeting on April 24 in Haldia and not in Nandigram “because the local people have been thoroughly brainwashed by the Opposition. We don’t want any trouble or protest during the CM’s meeting,” Jana said.

The massive damage control exercise that the CPI(M) has set rolling following public outcry against police firing in Nandigram on March 14, is yet to yield satisfactory results, the party’s state secretariat has observed.

“We are continuing our campaign all over the state. But it will take some time to get results,” said CPI(M)’s state secretariat member Dipak Dasgupta, who is in charge of East Midnapore, hastening to add though that the campaign is not really on Nandigram but on industrialisation and Centre’s economic policies.

Talking to HT, CPI(M) leaders said that the damage control strategy was primarily to “go slow and let the situation cool down.” Also, adequate campaign will be conducted among the local people and the government will devise a more attractive compensation and rehabilitation package before any land is acquired in future, they say.

“The Opposition will not be able to take advantage of the situation. We will the next panchayat polls again with a thumping majority except in a few pockets. The real cause of worry is the future of industrialisation in Bengal,” a central committee member of the party said, explaining that if local resistance stalled anymore project as happened in Nandigram, the state’s industrialisation will be domed.

First Published: Apr 13, 2007 22:29 IST