Friday, March 16, 2007
Kolkata: A day after 14 people died in police firing in Nandigram, the CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc threatened to pull out of the Left Front government in Bengal.
To further add to the woes of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu observed that it appeared the government was being run by the CPI(M) alone and not by the Left Front as all allies of the Marxists were being kept in the dark about vital policy decisions of the government.
During an emergency meeting of the Front, the CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc described the police action in Nandigram as a disgrace for the Left government.
They also alleged that the Chief Minister was taking unilateral decisions and never held discussions with the allies either in the cabinet or in the Front.
"We have been repeatedly saying that we are being kept in the dark. If this goes on, we will have to pull out our ministers from the cabinet. We did not join this government to become ministers," veteran Forward Bloc State Secretary Ashok Ghosh said. RSP's Debabrata Banerjee and CPI's Manju Majumdar echoed similar views.
When CPI(M) politburo member and Left Front chairman Biman Bose attempted to explain that all attempts of regaining normalcy in Nandigram had failed for over two months and police action was the only option left, Jyoti Basu intervened curtly.
"What they (CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc) are saying is right. I also feel that the CPI(M) is running a one-party rule in this state. It doesn't look like a coalition government at all," Basu said. "The ministers of our allies are not given proper respect. The Left Front, the cabinet and even the core committee of the cabinet are being kept in the dark. This simply can't go on," he observed.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was present in the meeting but remained silent throughout the meeting, was specifically pulled up by Basu. "Who ordered the firing? Who decided to send in the police? You must own up the responsibility of what has happened," Basu told Buddha. "I have also heard that you are running this government in an arrogant manner," he said.
Basu also lashed out at the abusive language used frequently by CPI(M) Central Committee member Benoy Konar. Konar had said last month in a public meeting that if Medha Patkar ever visited Nandigram and Singur, the women activists of the CPI(M) would show their backside to her. "I hate such an abominable language," he said.
The CPI(M) patriarch cautioned Biman Bose and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee not to indulge in any act that might harm the unity of the Left Front. "From my long political experience, I can tell you that the CPI(M) can't run this government alone. It must be a coalition government and we can't ignore our allies. Front's unity must be maintained," he said.
The Left Front meeting remained inconclusive and would resume on Saturday when the Chief Minister would speak on the demands raised by the CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc, which include withdrawal of police from Nandigram, relocating the proposed chemical hub and unequivocal condemnation of the police action by the Front. The Forward Bloc also demanded that no SEZ should be set up in the state on principle.
Monday, April 9, 2007