Staff Reporter

Picks holes in Left party stand on various issues

  • Congress inclined to invite Raghavulu to a debate
  • Proposed project near Kolkata poses threat to small, marginal farmers

    VIJAYAWADA: Congress leader and VGTM-Urban Development Authority (VGTM-UDA) chairman Malladi Vishnu on Tuesday criticised the Communist Party of India (Marxist)'s "double standards" in respect of several issues. He said the policies being practiced by the CPI(M) in West Bengal were the exact opposite of what the party was preaching here.

    Mr. Vishnu said the Congress was inclined to invite CPI (M) State Secretary B.V. Raghavulu for a discussion on the comparison of the policies in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. While Mr. Raghavulu was opposing giving land to industries in the State, his party's Government in West Bengal was trying to give away 47,000 acres of agricultural land to industries for a song.

    West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had run into trouble by giving land to an industrial group of Indonesia with doubtful credentials. The group would invest Rs. 250 crores in a plant near Howrah to produce 5,000 motorcycles every year.

    Mr. Vishnu further alleged that the CPI(M) Government in West Bengal had tried to give away 1,100 acres of agriculture land near Kolkata to the Tatas while offering only one-fourth of market value as compensation. The farmers had refused to accept the amount, and the Government was using force to take land from them, he said. The project was going to render about 5,000 small and marginal farmers landless.

    Under fire

    The Congress leader said that the WB Government's "obstinate" stance of acquiring 5,000 acres in 24 Paraganas district for industries had led to much criticism, but the CPI(M) leaders in that State were defending the same by arguing that it was necessary for faster industrial growth.

    Mr. Vishnu sought to know how the policies being followed in West Bengal were right but not so in Andhra Pradesh.