Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mamta wins panchayat polls in Nandigram

Nandigram has been the epicenter of trouble for the Communist West Bengal Government (along with Singur). The Government had proposed to acquire land in the region for the purpose of setting up industry, and this had landed the whole region in problem. Whatever be the purpose of the Government to increase the level of industrialization (and I had looked upon this move with favor, since industrialization and proper compensation for acquiring land does benefit farmers), the next reaction of the CPM regime was shocking.
The Government faced opposition from a collection of different parties and groups, and yet their objective should have been to maintain law and order. However, the Government and Left parties instead treated this as a person affront against them (and the involvement of the Mamta Banerjee led Trinamool Congress only caused more problems for them). There was a massive confrontation between the armed cadres of the CPM (along with the full support of the state police) against the villagers and their support, and eventually it reached such a stage that there was a wave of condemnation against the tactics of the CPM.
Well, it seems like all those tactics have rebounded on the CPM, since the Trinamool has gained control over a zilla parishad, maybe a watershed in the politics of West Bengal:

In a jolt to the CPI(M)-led Left Front, Trinamool Congress defeated its candidates in trouble-torn Nandigram in the three-tier panchayat elections in West Bengal. The Front also faced rout in three zilla parishad seats in Singur to Trinamool Congress candidates.
Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress wrested control of zilla parishad in East Midnapur where trouble-torn Nandigram is located. It won 32 of the 53 seats, results of which were declared so far. It is the first time that Trinamool Congress gained control over a zilla parishad, the main decision-making body in the district.

I don't believe that there is an inherent opposition to the policies of industrialization that the West Bengal government is following, but the Government seems to believe that it is in China, where any policy can be ruthlessly enforced and any opposition suppressed.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 7:46 AM