People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 48

December 02, 2007

Basudeb Acharia's Intervention


PARTICIPATING in the discussion under Rule 193 in Lok Sabha realting to the proposal to set up SEZ in Nandigram and consequent violence, CPI(M) leader in Lok Sabha Basudeb Acharia pointed out in the beginning that the kind of violence which occurred in Kolkata has been happening in Nandigram since many months.


The fundamentalist and the extremist forces had ganged up in the state of West Bengal to destablise a popular government, which got the massive mandate in 2006 assembly election.


Referring to the Purulia arms drop case, Acharia said one cannot forget what happened on December 12, 1994 when a large number of sophisticated arms and ammunition were air dropped in the district of Purulia, West Bengal, which is his some district. The main accused in that conspiracy case, Peter Bleach made a statement while he was in jail that they brought those arms for use against the Left Front government of West Bengal, particularly during the next assembly elections which were held in March 2006.


Acharia said the main accused was released by L K Advani, who was then the deputy-prime minister and home minister of the country. He recalled that this issue was raised by him when NDA was in power in this very House.


As for Nandigram SEZ, Acharia asserted that there was no notification issued in regard to it. But a canard was spread in the area that a large quantum of land would be acquired for setting up of SEZ for a chemical hub. “Can we allow a state within a state? Can we allow a liberated zone within a state? What has been happening during the last 11 months? Neither the leader of the opposition nor the members who spoke on this have even referred to the point that thousands of people were uprooted, driven out of their homes; roads were dug up and destroyed and the entire area was separated; there was no development in the last 11 months. Can any state government allow this situation?


“Now, the leader of the opposition has demanded central intervention. When the same demand was made by us in 2002, during the post-Godhra carnage, he refused to invoke Article 355. When the House made the demand to refer the matter to the CBI, he refused.”


Acharia pointed out that during the last 30 years, there has not been a single communal riot in the state of West Bengal. Muslims constituting 26 per cent of the population are living in complete harmony.


Almost all those affected by the violence in Nandigram, except for 300 people who are now staying in the rehabilitation centres, have returned home. He concluded by saying “We should make an appeal to all to go back to their homes and villages. Nandigram was a peaceful area and there had not been any such incident during the last 30 years. So, we should try, all the political parties should come forward, for restoration of peace and harmony so that people can stay in their houses and development work can start; so that schools which were closed for eleven months can be reopened and peace and harmony is restored”.