People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 25, 2007
Buddhadeb Addresses Mammoth Rally Near Singur
People listening to the public meeting at Nalikul near Singur
Addressing a mammoth rally at Nalikul off Singur in the district of Hooghly, Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said that with the automobile factory coming up at Singur, the state Left Front government would guarantee that all affected people would be involved in viable economic activity. A large part of the rally was made up of the families of those who had transferred land to the state government for the automobile factory to come up. They came in waving banners and the Red Flag.
Indeed, once the factory takes off, employment generation would take off as well. When Buddhadeb asked of the massive assemblage if they wanted an automobile factory, the emphatically affirmative ‘yes’ quite rent the air, accompanied by a waving of Red Flags.
The rally spilled right out onto the two roads flanking the venue and as more and more people trooped in, it appeared at one time as if the entire area would become too small to contain the rally. The Hooghly unit of the CPI(M) appeared jubilant as processions wound their way into the venue.
Buddhadeb pointed out at the beginning of his rousing address that the court of law expressed the opinion that there was nothing wrong done while acquiring land for the automobile factory. Explaining the need for imposition of Section 144, Buddhadeb pointed out that it was the violent ways of the opposition, seen by all, that had necessitated the step. Democratic movements and violence-arson-murder were two entirely different things altogether.
Declaring that 96 per cent of the land has been handed over to the state government, Buddhadeb asked of the rally if the majority would have to go by the view of those who would prove obdurate and indulge in violence. If the automobile factory was not made to come up, the loss will be that of the people of Hooghly and beyond.
Declaring that the state LF government would never remain confined to agricultural development alone, Buddhadeb pointed out that Bengal must occupy the prime position in industrial development along with holding the place of primacy in agriculture. Noting that only one lakh of one crore 35 lakh acres of agricultural land was being utilised for industrial development, Buddhadeb commented that the progress of civilisation meant moving towards industrialisation and urbanisation, but without compromising, in Bengal’s instance, the solid agricultural base.
Industries minister Nirupam Sen said that the policy of industrialisation was a part of the election manifesto based on which the people had voted in the seventh Left Front government with increased number of seats. Nirupam Sen pointed that the Singur automotive factory would see the growth of both ancillary and downstream industrial units, pushing up employment generation.
The speaker asked whether the flourishing agriculture in districts like Hooghly would mean keeping them away from industrial development. The setting up process of the Singur factory has already created thousands upon thousands of man-days and a total wage payment of more than Rs 10 lakh could be generated, benefiting the local populace.
Nirupam Sen recalled that those who would block the path of industrialisation had taken up arms in favour of the landlords and impeded the process of redistributive land reforms. Nirupam Sen served a reminder to the opposition that development did not have any sectoral meaning: development would touch all and in a beneficent manner.