M A I N   N E W S

Buddha bends on Singur
End of story? Mamata set to end fast after VVIP intervention
Subhranghsu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, December 28
Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee may call off her hunger strike following a categorical assurance by the Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, on the 25th day of her fast for reviewing the issue of transfer of a piece of land to Tata Motors at Singur.

Mr Bhattacharjee also agreed to withdraw Section 144 of the CrPC from Singur and its adjoining areas.

Accordingly, Ms Banerjee had been requested to call off the strike and come to the negotiating table with him. The CM reportedly agreed that the unwilling farmers could also be allotted alternative land, if needed. But till 8 p.m. Ms Banerjee did not call off the fasting.

Instead, she was busy in discussing about the Chief Minister’s letter with senior colleagues and leaders of other parties and the Kishi Bachhao Committee.

In the letter sent to Ms Banerjee in the evening, the Chief Minister conveyed to her the decisions that were taken at a meeting soon after his return from North Bengal. The meeting was attended, among others, by the Industries Minister, Mr Nirupam Sen, the Housing Minister, Mr Gautam Dev, and senior state government officials.

Earlier, the President, Dr A.P.J. Kalam, and the Prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, phoned the Chief Minister from the Capital and advised him to come out with a concrete proposal for ending the fasting of Ms Banerjee vis-à-vis the Singur crisis.

Mr Sen, who received the requests from Rastrapati Bhavan as well as the PMO, had drawn up a compromise formula from the Chief Minister’s side for resolving the impasse.

Before deciding on sending the letter to Ms Banerjee, the Chief Minister talked to Mr Jyoti Basu and the party secretary, Mr Biman Bose, both of which advised him to act accordingly.

The CPM General Secretary, Mr Prakash Karat, was also informed about the Chief Minister’s new initiative for ending the crisis.

The Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, who is also WBPCC(l) president, was in the city today but he did not visit Ms Banerjee at the ‘dharna manch’.

Mr Mukherjee suggested the Army doctors and the medical team of the AIIMS could be arranged for her treatment, if she agreed. Incidentally, the Army has kept ready a team of doctors to attend to the Ms Banerjee as her condition remained critical.



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