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We have learnt lessons from Nandigram, says Buddhadeb

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`LESSONS LEARNT': West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee addresses a youth rally in Kolkata on Wednesday.
`LESSONS LEARNT': West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee addresses a youth rally in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

``We will not go to Nandigram as the people there do not understand its need''

  • ``We have learnt lessons from Nandigram''
  • Asks Opposition not to block development plans

    KOLKATA: The West Bengal Government will inform the Centre within a week of an alternative site for the proposed chemical hub, initially planned in Nandigram in Purbo Medinipur district. "We will not let go of the proposal for a chemical hub and [we] will set it up elsewhere; there is no way will we go to Nandigram, as the people there do not understand its need and do not want it there," Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said at a congregation of students and youth organised by the Student Federation of India and the Democratic Youth Federation of India here on Wednesday.

    "Under no circumstances do we want blood to spill over our industrialisation drive. We have learnt lessons from Nandigram and for whatever went wrong there I take on myself the responsibility on behalf of the State Government," Mr. Bhattacharjee said.

    "We do not want deaths. A human being is a human being. We do not want any spilling of blood," the Chief Minister asserted. He regretted the recent violence at Nandigram and the loss of lives there. "But I also appeal to those opposed to us not to attack Left supporters. They too are human beings," he said. "What we want is development and growth in industry, agriculture, education and all other sectors to take the State to the forefront in the country."

    Mr. Bhattacharjee asked the Opposition not to "obstruct" the State's plans for development, as that would send the wrong message to the people in the rest of the country and abroad. "It is not a question of the Left Front and the Opposition but that of the State's development,'' he said in reference to the attempts to obstruct the progress of work at Singur, in Hooghly district, where Tata Motors automobile plant is to come up.

    Unemployment

    Reiterating the need for industrial growth on the strength of the successes achieved in the agricultural sector, the Chief Minister said that the cardinal need was to address the problem of unemployment. "We have to move towards greater industrialisation for purposes of generating job opportunities." Talk of an increase in the overall growth rate meant little if there was a corresponding rise in the unemployment rate.

    "After great difficultly, have we been able to arrive at a turnaround in industry and reached a point from where the industrial drive can take off," Mr Bhattacharjee said. Investment proposals had increased from Rs. 35,000 crore to Rs 78,000 crore in a year.

    The Chief Minister also spoke of his Government's efforts to increase agricultural production, despite the successes achieved, and increase the farmer's purchasing power. There were plans for distribution of an additional 30,000 acres to landless peasants, he said.

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