Defending his industrialisation drive, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Saturday said that he had wanted to make Nandigram into another Haldia, a prominent industrial town with a port but the Trinamul Congress had sabotaged his plans through a sustained misinformation campaign. Addressing election rallies in Heria village near Nandigram, Mr Bhattacharjee said: “Haldia was a village where people were engaged in agriculture and fishing. Who made Haldia what it is today where thousands of people are working? Were we wrong when we tried to make Nandigram a second Haldia?”
Tearing into the Trinamul Congress, Mr Bhattacharjee said that it misguided the people by launching a false propaganda that the state government would grab all land, including houses, mosques, temples and mazars. “They kept on fuelling the fire of discontent in Nandigram even after I categorically announced that the state government would not acquire any land in Nandigram,” he added. He argued that the Trinamul Congress stepped up disruptive activities by digging up roads and demolishing bridges. “They lined up women and children ( as human shield ) when the police went to Nandigram to restore normalcy,” he said.
The chief minister explained that he had not ordered police firing. “I had not wanted the police to open fire,” he added. A violent agitation was launched in Nandigram after the state government announced its plan to acquire 10,000 acre for a chemical hub. In the police firing on March 14, 2007, 14 defenceless villagers were killed. The mayhem had sent shockwaves across the country and the CPI(M)-led Left Front had to pay a heavy price for this folly. Asian Age