Wednesday, March 14, 2007 (New Delhi):
The Nandigram violence on Wednesday has resulted in a strong political backlash against the CPM.
Soon after the news of protesters being killed broke, Opposition MLAs stormed out of the West Bengal Assembly. In fact, the political shockwaves of the violence reached Parliament too.
The significance of the incident was made clearer when even smaller Left parties had no hesitation in criticizing the CPM.
The CPI’s General Secretary AB Bardhan led the charge. “The kind of police action at Nandigram is unheard of in Left rule, which I condemn severely,” Bardhan told State Secretary Manju Kumar Majumder.
“What can we say when our own government doesn’t listen to its allies,” said Abani Roy, RSP MP.
Just last week the West Bengal CM had something to cheer about as the Prime Minister praised his efforts on industrialization. But now the Centre is not sitting back, and it has now demanded a report from the state police.
The Congress, in fact, has stepped up pressure on the Left even though the two parties are allies at the Centre.
“I have spoken to CPI leader AB Bardhan. He is also concerned,” said Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, Information and Broadcasting Minister.
Meanwhile, the BJP-led NDA has demanded a judicial inquiry as they believe the West Bengal government is trying to forcibly suppress protests.
“The CPM has brutally lathicharged and fired upon farmers in West Bengal,” said Rajnath Singh, BJP President.
The West Bengal Chief Minister has once before apologized for his party’s bungling of the Nandigram situation when violence broke out following a CPM MP’s attempt to acquire land for the SEZ.
But now, the violence on Wednesday has perhaps sparked off a much bigger political crisis for the CPM.