Pranab on land policy: while CPM is happy,Mamata fumes

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s endorsement of the state government’s land acquisition policy for setting up industries has put a question mark over a possible tie-up between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress for the Lok Sabha polls.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: January 19, 2009 2:01 am

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s endorsement of the state government’s land acquisition policy for setting up industries has put a question mark over a possible tie-up between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress for the Lok Sabha polls.

While Mukherjee’s statement was appreciated by the CPM,it drew a sharp rejoinder from Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee,who said she will again lead a Nandigram and Singur-type agitation if the situation warranted.

On Saturday,Mukherjee,while addressing the annual general meeting of Bharat Chamber of Commerce,had said: “An atmosphere has been created against acquisition of land. But industry,roads,railway lines and ports cannot be constructed in the sky. It has to come up on land in a conducive environment.”

“Though late,the external affairs minister has ultimately realised the truth and voiced opposition against agitations over acquisition of land for industry,” CPM state secretary Biman Bose said at the end of a “Maha Michil” on Sunday.

Though she did not mention Mukherjee,Banerjee said on Sunday: “What we did was absolutely right. We will do it again if the situation arises. Our policy is in favour of the people.”

Banerjee further said Trinamool was interested in joining hands with the Congress to consolidate Opposition votes in the state against the Left Front. “But Trinamool’s anxiety to keep the Opposition votes united should not be construed as a weakness. If anybody thinks that by weakening us he or she will make the road smoother for CPM’s victory,it will be betraying the people,” she said while addressing a meeting of party workers. “I urge the covert friends of CPM not to wage a shadow war against the party,but really try to strengthen efforts to defeat the CPM in the coming Lok Sabha election. We can never support CPM and will continue our battle against it,” Banerjee added.

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