Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: Forward Bloc is against any move to set up special economic zones (SEZs) in West Bengal.

"It is not a question of [whether they are set up] on agricultural or non-agricultural land," general secretary of the party's State committee Ashok Ghosh said.

By this, the party seems to have gone one step further than other Left parties on the matter - others having confined their opposition to setting up of SEZs on agricultural land and demanding amendments to legislation related to such zones.

"Under no circumstances will we allow SEZs to come up in the State... We will also launch a nation-wide campaign on the issue. We have made our views on the matter known to the Left Front committee and are reiterating it here today," he said.

Mr. Ghosh was referring to talks between the State Government and Salim Group over the setting up of SEZs in parts of South 24 Parganas district and Nandigram area of Purbo Medinipur where six persons were killed in group clashes on January 6-7.

Despite an assurance from Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee shortly after the incident that there would no acquisition of land for the proposed SEZ till discussions are held with leaders at the panchayat level, Nandigram had been tense, he said.

There were reports of clashes between CPI (M) supporters and those opposing the project in the Khejuri area on the outskirts of Nandigram. Police were unable to enter the village to restore order, as people dug up the road leading to it on Sunday.

"We are not against setting up of industries. We only insist that the industrialisation process should be undertaken in deference to specific [socio-economic] conditions prevalent in India," he said.

The Trinamool Congress organised an hour-long "chakka jam" across the State during the day in protest against re-imposition of prohibitory orders at Singur.