Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cracks show in front

Cracks show in front

Calcutta, Nov. 10: Bengal’s ruling alliance has to now cope with a crisis within — PWD minister Kshiti Goswami has expressed his wish to quit in a letter to his state party secretary while his RSP colleagues broke Left Front ranks to join Medha Patkar’s sit-in.

“It is better to resign than continue in a government that has allowed CPM armed gangs to continue their murderous campaign for the past few days. It will be morally outrageous to remain a minister any more,” Goswami said.

He compared the Nandigram situation with the Gujarat riots of 2002. “Narendra Modi had given three days to Hindutva rioters to kill Muslims by keeping police and the administration inactive. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has been following the same path.’’

RSP state secretary Debabrata Banerjee said the party secretariat would meet in two-three days to discuss the letter. “We’ll discuss whether our other ministers should also pull out,” he added.

The party has three ministers besides Goswami.

Banerjee said: “The violence was neither triggered by the governor and nor will his statement stoke the fire. The CPM should review its follies.”

Manoj Bhattacharya, Gita Sengupta and Mihir Banerjee joined Medha’s demonstration at Esplanade to protest ag-ainst the CPM’s refusal to let her go to Nandigram.

The Forward Bloc and the CPI, however, gave the Big Brother something to cheer about. They had echoed the RSP’s opposition to land acquisition for industry and threatened to quit the government after the March 14 firing. Today, they criticised the governor for “exceeding his constitutional role” and called his statement “unfortunate and uncalled for”.

“The governor should have bared his mind to the chief minister and advised him accordingly,’’ Bloc leader Ashok Ghosh and CPI state secretary Manju Kumar Majumdar said.