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AICC allows state unit to fight against CPM
To have pact with Mamata for panchayat polls
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, November 20
The AICC has finally given a go ahead to the West Bengal party unit to fight against the CPM in the state jointly with the Trinamool Congress and other like-minded parties. Accordingly, the Congress workers and supporters in the state will now participate in the on-going stir on Nandigram, which the Trinamool and the Bhoomi Raksha Committee had started.

The Congress will also fight the forthcoming panchayat polls in the state under an electoral understanding with the Trinamool.

These decisions were “cleared” at the AICC session held in New Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium that ended yesterday. The party’s two factions in the state, led by union information minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi and former PCC president Somen Mitra, also agreed to bridge their differences and join hands with Mamata Banerjee in fighting against the CPM.

Interestingly, soon after the AICC took the decisions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the first time came out in public today criticising the state government’s mishandling of the Nandigram situation. He stressed the need for introducing better confidence building measures in Nandigram for the restoration of peace and normalcy there.

So far, neither the Centre nor the AICC had criticised the CPM on the Nandigram issue. But today Dr Manmohan Singh’s criticism comes on the eve of the departure of the energy commission chairman, Anil Kakodkar, for attending the IAEA meeting slated for November 22.

Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee, a Dasmunshi follower, stated that he was happy that the AICC had realised the need of the party jointly fighting with the Trinamool Congress and other parties against the CPM in the state. He also welcomed that the Prime Minister had condemned the Nandigram situation. Manash Bhuiya, party’s leader in the Assembly, who belongs to the Mitra camp, claimed that they had persuaded Sonia Gandhi and the AICC leadership to allow them to fight against the CPM on the Nandigram issue vis-à-vis the state’s law and order situation.

Bhuiya said soon an AICC delegation would visit Nandigram to study the situation there and suggest proper remedial measures to the Centre. The members would also carry with them food and other relief materials.

The CPM state secretary, Biman Bose, refused to comment on the AICC endorsement of the Congress-Trinamool’s joint fight against their party in the state. He hoped people would respond to the move rightly. Bose also declined to comment on NHRC chairman Justice Rajendra Babu’s public remarks on Nandigram killings, equating them with the Godhra massacre. The NHRC members visited Nandigram yesterday and made an on the spot study of the situation there.

The CPM today sent a delegation to Nandigram carrying food, medicines and other relief materials. Bose said the relief materials were meant for all the “affected” people irrespective of their political colours. He said they had already asked the party district leaders to ensure the safe return of all “homeless people” to their respective places. He warned any attempt by the cadres and supporters to oppose the move would be firmly dealt with.

The Trinamool Congress would begin it’s “chakka jam” bandh from tomorrow as part of it’s agitation programme. The party would send a relief team tomorrow also carrying food and relief materials for the homeless people in Nandigram. Social activist Medha Patkar said she would also visit Nandigram tomorrow along with several other eminent personalities supporting the cause of the affected people.

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