(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 31 , 2008
HIGHWAY BLOCKADE CREATES FOOD CRISIS IN CENTRAL BENGAL
ON our third visit to Singur on 27 August where the hardy few ‘professionals’ of the Trinamul Congress and the Maoists, plus sundry SUCI elements were desperately ‘holding out’ by blocking the now-deserted NH 6 was filled with the nauseating stench of rotting cauliflowers, cabbages and potatoes, and other perishable vegetables—including tonnes of fish.
The truckers all sixteen thousand of them -- four thousand drivers, and the rest of them assistants and the ubiquitous headload carriers -- were very angry. They had found their way blocked by a few men with blunt and sharp weapons who also had openly on display large bags of brickbats and stones, collected. The latter from the nearby railway tracks.
Thus has been started a ‘counter-blockade’ – if we can call it that. After a brief discussion with the state transport minister, the truckers just parked their vegetable-rice-lentil-edible oil-laden vehicles – ten-tonners all of them, right on the highway albeit a small distance away from where the irresponsible workers of Mamata’s calling were squatting hurling unprintable abuses at the truckers. The latter were not moved having driven hundreds of kilometres to reach out essential commodities to the people of Bengal.
The crisis will hit the markets within 24 hours of our filing this report and then things may take a very ugly turn – something that Mamata Banerjee blustering to us about her ‘winning ways against your chief minister,’ is yet to understand or is not willing to understand.
For, understanding would mean acknowledging defeat and she will then have thousands of very angry people of Singur breathing heavily down her neck and worse, as they realised that the ‘show’ was not even close to ‘reality.’ CPI(M) state secretary Biman Basu was urgent in his fervent appeal to the people to maintain peace and avoid violent confrontation.