Sunday, December 2, 2007

Industrious CM boosts cadre morale

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, Nov. 29: Under fierce attack by the Opposition and the civil society for his handling of the Nandigram imbroglio and the Tata small car project at Singur, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today sought to boost the sagging morale of his party activists in South 24-Parganas by aggressively defending his twin decisions of setting up the mega chemical hub and the small car project.
In the same breath he launched an offensive against the Opposition and the Maoists and accused them of pursing the one-point agenda of “instigating trouble in the state.”
“They are saying the Tatas are being given land. Will the Tatas take away the land to the UK ? Don’t they know how much the people at Singur can get from agricultural produce ? The whole economic profile of Singur would change once 4,000 people start work in the small car factory there,” he said.
The chief minister, who was addressing an open session of the CPI-M’s South 24-Parganas district conference, said the state government had planned to set up the mega chemical hub at Nandigram because of it’s closeness to Haldia which “has already emerged as a major industrial hub”.
“But, before we could explain the plan in detail to the people of Nandigram, the Opposition misled them and we had finally to scrap the project there. Now. we have decided to set up the hub at Nayachar and once it comes up, the people of Nandigram will realise what they have lost,” he said.
The public outcry against the recapture of Nandigram by armed CPI-M activists and the indictment of the state government’s handling of the situation by the Governor and later the High Court’s stinging ruling on police firing there on 14 March shattered the confidence of the CPI-M rank and file in this district and elsewhere. This has emboldened the Opposition to close ranks and attempt the formation of an alternative Front to dislodge the Marxists from power. The CM countered this move by asserting that the Opposition’s sole objective is to “whip up trouble and religious fanaticism so as to block the state’s development.” The CM said US investment is welcome, but “it won’t be on their term”.