Special Correspondent

Assures action if there were excesses

  • Opposition parties have been demanding CM's resignation
  • Party chief Prakash Kamat also ruled out Buddhadeb's removal

    KOLKATA: Reports of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee wanting to resign in the wake of the police firing at Nandigram were dismissed as "absurd" by veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu here on Friday.

    Earlier this week, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat ruled out any question of Mr. Bhattacharjee's removal, saying he was the Chief Minister of the Left Front Government elected by the people and "will remain so."

    The Opposition parties have been demanding Mr. Bhattacharjee's resignation over the past few days. Leaders of some Left Front partners had also expressed displeasure over the handling of the Nandigram issue, though the differences were sorted out subsequently.

    Emerging from a meeting of the CPI (M) State secretariat, Mr. Basu said the administration would take action if it was found that excesses were committed by the police in Nandigram.

    Mr. Basu said "we have wanted a judicial inquiry" into the violence at Nandigram on March 14. The legalities of constituting one would be known on March 26 when the report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation on the police action will be taken up by a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court. "The Supreme Court is also looking at whether the High Court has the authority to give such an order [to the CBI to inquire into the firing]."

    On whether steps would be taken by the party against Lakshan Seth, MP from Haldia in whose constituency Nandigram falls, Mr. Basu said the developments would be reviewed at the meeting of the party's State committee on Saturday.