Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mamata pleas on agenda

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, May 19: Miss Mamata Banerjee was not stretching her imagination this afternoon when she described the outcome of her meeting with Mr Ashok Ghosh as “the turning point in West Bengal politics.”
For, in those 30-odd minutes she had convinced the Forward Bloc state secretary that four of her main demands will be taken up at the all-party talks on Nandigram. One, introspection of the “mass killings” of 14 March. Two, to identify the culprits and affix punishment for them. Three, to pull up the state CID for not filing chargesheet against the CP-M members who were arrested by a CBI team from a brick kiln in Nandigram after the killings. And four, that the CBI should continue its investigation.
The all-party meeting, the tea leaders decided today, will be held at Mahajati Sadan on 24 May. Before that Mr Ghosh will request the Left Front chairman Mr Biman Bose to convene a meeting of the Left allies to endorse the date and agenda - a holds barred discussion on all aspects of Nandigram.
Mr Bose was in Purulia when, for the first time in Bengal’s history, the top leader of a right wing party walked into the head quarters of a Left party to discuss an incident in which the most powerful ruling party stands on the dock. It was also the first time that arch rivals in Bengal’s politics jointly held a press conference where Mr Ghosh described her as “our leader” and Miss Banerjee admitted that “no one is untouchable in politics”. It could not be ascertained till this evening whether the CPI-M leadership will agree to discuss the sensitive issues raised by Miss Banerjee, given that leaders like Mr Benoy Konar have already turned them down. However, Mr Ghosh was confident that he could convince the CPI-M. “Leave all that to me”, he said.
“I will convene the all-party meeting and we hope all parties will come and freely discuss all aspects of the Nandigram issue. We will try to reach a consensus. The chief minister has already promised me that our decisions will be carried out by the government”, Mr Ghosh said. He too described today’s development as historic. “Its not just Bengal, the whole country is watching us. We have to restore peace in the troubled area as soon as possible.”
Would Mr Biman Bose be there? “I will request the top leaders of all parties to be present. Else, the talks will be useless,” Mr Ghosh replied.


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