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Mamata calls for fresh protests

Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee  

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The fasting Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has called for a fresh round of Statewide protests from Tuesday in protest against what she termed the "forcible" land acquisition of farmland at Singur for the Tatas' car project.

Ms. Banerjee, whose hunger strike entered the 22nd day on Monday, said her fast would continue until the West Bengal Government accepted, at least in principle, her charge that the land had been taken from their owners without their consent and agreed to return it to the owners.

She has turned down all requests to call off her fast as well as offers for talks with the Government.

The most recent request came from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who sent a letter to her through an emissary on Sunday.

Similar appeals were made, among others, by West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and chairman of the Left Front Committee Biman Bose.

Ms. Banerjee is spearheading the agitation under the banner of the Krishi Jami Raksha [Save the Farmland] Committee, whose principal constituent is the Trinamool. It also includes certain naxalite groups.

Rajnath may meet Mamata

Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh, who is scheduled to arrive in the city on Tuesday, is likely to visit Ms. Banerjee.

Mr. Singh earlier met her after she began her fast.

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