Not the Tatas who were the sufferers but the people of Singur: Buddhadeb
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee reiterated on Sunday that his government was determined to have industry, preferably an automobile factory, set up at the earliest at the site in Singur from where the Tata Motors' Nano project was relocated more than two years ago.
“We have learnt from seeing how a violent movement by a single political party [the Trinamool Congress] could cause such damage not just to [economic prospects of] the place but also [have bearings on] the State” by forcing out the small car project, Mr. Bhattacharjee told a rally organised by the Hooghly district Left Front at Singur.
“I appeal to the people of Singur not to bow their heads in dejection but have courage in faith…As for those who had misunderstood the situation then, I appeal to them to rethink things. If there is industry it will benefit all of you as well as the State,” he said.
Supporters of the Trinamool-led Krishi Jami Raksha (Protection of Farm Land) Committee, which spearheaded the agitation that resulted in the relocation of the Nano project, took out a procession in October 2008 in nearby Khaserberi and tried to enter the site that had been earmarked for the small car factory. The police burst tear gas shells to disperse them after they were attacked with stones.
Recalling “the violent situation” that had been created in Singur, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that it was not the Tatas who were the sufferers “but us, the people of Singur.”
“Yet, even today we have kept our initiative alive and are trying our utmost to set up a factory in Singur at the earliest [despite] the continuing efforts of the Trinamool Congress, who are joining hands with the Maoists to obstruct the functioning of the State government and spread terror in villages, which by no means will be allowed,” he said.
He added: “We cannot allow violence to continue and have repeatedly sought their [Trinamool] participation in meetings aimed at restoring peace, but they refuse to attend them.”
The Chief Minister also slammed the Centre for failing to control the spiralling prices of essential commodities. “The food inflation rate has now touched 18 per cent and our repeated requests that a uniform price be fixed across the country for essential items as well as that to extend the rationing system to benefit all go unheeded”.
The pressure for the Centre to change its policies on this matter will continue, Mr Bhattacharjee said. As for the State where “the Trinamool Congess has replaced the Congress as the party for the rich, there is none but the Left parties to protect the interests of the poor we will keep moving ahead, striving for peace and cessation of violence even as we work towards creation of jobs for our youth”.
Biman Bose, chairman of the Left Front Committee came down strongly on the “campaign of slander and lies” of the Trinamool Congress that “is aimed at confusing the people” ahead of the Assembly polls in the State.
“For a party that has no policy, ideal and programme its very foundation is based on lies. There is need for people to stand united in their rejection of the politics of lies it engages in”, he said.