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Only the red flag protects the poor, Muslims: Buddhadeb

Saturday November 27, 2010 07:17:09 PM, IANS

Basirhat (West Bengal): Wooing the Muslims and the poorer sections of society ahead of next year's state assembly polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Saturday said only the Left front protected their interests.

"Congress does not protect the interests of the poor. Only the red flag (of the communists who lead the Left Front) protects your interests. Some of you have misunderstood us and left us. I appeal to you to please come back to our fold. We will walk together in the path of development," Bhattacharjee said at a public rally here in North 24 Parganas district.

Ridiculing the call for political change given by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Bhattacharjee asked: "What is the change that they are talking about? We have undertaken land reforms and given land to the poor. Do they mean by change that they will return to the big landholders and landlords the land that we have taken away from them?"

He accused Trinamool of spreading misinformation and falsehood.

"Suddenly, they began campaigning that we will take away land of all Muslims. Why? We have given title deeds to people. Why should we take away their land?"

Bhattacharjee said the state government was taking all steps for lifting the standards of the poor Muslims and had included them in the other backward class (OBC) category.

"I appeal to all youths to take the OBC certificates. It will help you to get jobs," he said.

Basirhat, and North 24 Parganas as a whole, have a high concentration of Muslims, most of whom are peasants.

A large section of Muslims, who earlier supported the Left Front, have turned away from the ruling combine after Trinamool's anti-land acquisition protests in Singur and Nandigram and the denunciation of the Rajinder Sachar Committee for neglecting Muslims in the state.

Coming down heavily on Trianmool, he alleged that the opposition party was trying to thwart the state's development.

The chief minister referred to Trinamool's intense stir against land acquisition in Singur in Hooghly district that ultimately forced Tata Motors to shift their Nano manufacturing plant to Sanand in Gujarat two years back.

"They thought they can stop us from bringing industries here by stopping Singur. No, they cannot. We have to build factories for our young boys and girls. Why should all educated people take up farming? Many of them don't want to. They want other jobs," he said.

He also accused Trinamool of trying to stop the widening of National Highways and ushering in power projects.

On Trinamool's latest protests against land acquisition in Kolkata's satellite township of Rajarhat, Bhattacharjee said: "Ten lakh people will stay in the township. They (opposition) now say they will stop land acquisition. But we have already taken the land. Do they think we will allow them to cause harm to the township?"

The chief minister alleged that Trinamool activists were guiding the Maoists to the house of Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M) leaders in West Midnapore district.

"The Maoists have managed to make a comeback to the state because Trinamool has joined hands with them. Trinamool is elated as the Maoists are killing our people," he said.





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