Special Correspondent

`Sending parliamentary team unhealthy'

  • BJP pursuing political agenda: CPI (M)
  • Governor should have taken up matter with Chief Minister

    NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday described as "unjustified" the demand by the Bharatiya Janata Party that a joint parliamentary party delegation be sent to Nandigram as it would set an "unhealthy precedent" since law and order was a State subject.

    Party Polit Bureau member and MP Sitaram Yechury said it was strange and unfortunate that the BJP was pursuing a political agenda, which would have serious implications for the Constitutional federal structure.

    Asserting that the CPI (M) had nothing to hide in Nandigram, he said there were precedents of Parliament sending teams in cases of communal violence or when atrocities were committed against Scheduled Caste/Tribes, which were separate from regular law and order issues. "Incidents of Chhattisgarh (naxalite attack) and Nandigram fall within the ambit of the State Government. Since 1952 there has not been a single instance when on a law and order issue either Parliament has adopted a resolution or sent a delegation."

    CBI probe

    He welcomed the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, but reiterated the charge made earlier by the party blaming the Trinamool Congress and armed Maoists for the violence in Nandigram.

    Asked about the statement by the West Bengal Governor, he said the party would not and should not comment. However, Mr. Yechury said, as in the case of the Gujarat riots the then President K.R. Narayanan's communication to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been kept outside the public domain it was a matter for the Governor to take up with the Chief Minister. He endorsed similar views by party leaders, including MP Tarit Topdar.

    Dasmunsi's charge

    Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said the BJP had gone back on its word to facilitate the smooth passage of the demands for grants on account. In the presence of the Deputy Speaker, the BJP leaders had agreed to the proposal subject to the Leader of the Opposition raising the Nandigram issue with the Government responding.

    In an unprecedented move, the Opposition on Friday insisted that the Government agree to a joint parliamentary committee probe or at least move a resolution to be adopted by the House condemning the Nandigram issue in return for a smooth passage.

    Mr. Dasmunsi said that even in 2002, during the Gujarat riots, the Congress, which was then in the Opposition, did not disrupt the passage of the budget. Mr. Dasmunsi said efforts by the Leader of the House to make the Leader of the Opposition see reason bore no fruit.