Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, Dec. 1: The Governor, Mr Gopalkrishna Gandhi will visit Nandigram tomorrow, 20 days after the CPI-M state leadership declared the “war zone" as “terror free”.
In a clear message that he was unmoved by scathing criticism from the CPI-M leadership, Mr Gandhi, who just two days ago met the Union home minister, had said his “ stand remains unchanged”, will visit the relief camp and meet the displaced persons. Raj Bhavan sources said the Governor would decide upon the areas to visit once he reaches the spot.
Mr Gandhi had condemned the “recapture” of Nandigram by armed CPI-M cadres as “ unlawful and unacceptable” in a statement issued on the night of Deepavali, earning the wrath of the party.
His statement so incensed the CPI-M leadership that it felt “ the government was partially handicapped to respond because of a situation precipitated by his (the Governor's) earlier statement in March 2007.”
The party leadership did not call off its criticism of the Governor at this point. An acerbic Mr Benoy Konar, a central committee member, asked Mr Gandhi to carry a Trinamul flag after emerging from the Raj Bhawan.
Though Mr Gandhi apparently took little notice of this verbal assault, it may be noted that despite several requests, he had stayed away from Nandigram saying that he might be blamed for any worsening of the situation. Little wonder then that his visit assumes significance in this backdrop.
After the 14 March carnage Mr Gandhi had also visited Nandigram, comforting the injured and relatives of those who died in the police firing, an incident which left him with a sense of “cold horror”.
A new political equation is sought to be drawn up in the Opposition camp as senior state Congress leaders are scheduled to address a meeting at Singur tomorrow with Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee in which Trinamul Congress occupy a significant part. Mr Jayanta Bhattacharya, senior Congress leader is one of the party leaders who will address tomorrow's meeting.
An important leader of Mr Somen Mitra's faction, Mr Bhattacharya had attended a meeting with Trinamul Congress leadership at the latter's office recently. His presence at tomorrow's meeting is an indication of Mr Mitra's faction joining forces with Trinamul Congress, though the latter was considered to be a political pariah owing to its being a partner at the BJP-led NDA.
The party will decide on the choice of other senior Congress leaders at this meeting, Mr Bhattacharya said.
The meeting is scheduled to be held near the fencing of the small car factory of the Tata Motors.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Statesman News Service