Not in Nandigram but will set up chemical hub, says Buddhadeb
Posted online: Thursday, March 29, 2007
WB: I accept responsibility for what happened (firing), says CM, have asked Delhi for Plan B
Kolkata, March 28: Making his first public appearance after the police firing at Nandigram on March 14, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was back in form, stressing that there was no question of going back on plans for a chemical hub, the issue that aroused violent opposition in Nandigram.
On the police firing that led to 14 deaths, he said: “I, on behalf of the government, accept responsibility for what happened...To me, what matters is that human beings died. Their party affiliation is not important.”
Underlining his earlier statement, Bhattacharjee announced that the hub would not come up at Nandigram, but at an alternative location, as he sought to explain that his vision of industrialisation would not lead to jobless growth as the critics were claiming.
“Today, I spoke to New Delhi. I have told them to let us know the latest position since we have a pact with Indian Oil Corp (for the chemical hub),” Bhattacharjee told the students and youth wing of the CPI(M).
“We want the chemical hub,” he stressed. Once Delhi gives the final picture, “we will locate an alternative within seven days,” he told the crowd of around 10,000.
The state had planned to acquire 10,000 acres in the area for a special economic zone (SEZ) that would be part of a chemical hub cleared by the Union government (see adjoining story).
Bhattacharjee said the state government had wanted the chemical hub to come up at Nandigram, and to build a bridge over the River Haldi to connect the area with Haldia.
He urged the Opposition parties to remember that Leftists are also “human beings.” “Do not kill them,” he said, in a reference to the eviction of several CPM workers from their homes in Nandigram. Without naming any opposition leader or party, Bhattacharjee said: “Please do not ruin the state...Your actions are sending the wrong signals to the rest of the country and the world.”Bhattacharjee said he and his team had gone across the country and to other countries as well to tell people that West Bengal needs investment. “Today, the state has turned around and has created an investment climate. In this year alone, we have investment proposals for Rs 78,000 crore,” he said. Because of the government’s drive, he said, the youth are again optimistic about getting jobs. “Should we not go forward? The opposition wants us to halt, but I say West Bengal will overcome all hurdles to become No. 1 in industry,” he said.
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