Kolkata, Nov 22 (UNI) Taking a U-turn after asking Taslima Nasreen to leave West Bengal, the CPI(M) today pushed the ball in the Centre's court regarding the decision on her stay in the country.
In an official corrigendum of what he had said last night, party's state committee Secretary Biman Basu said the state Government had no power to either grant or cancel anybody's visa.
''Only the Government of India can do that. Let the Centre take an appropriate decision in this regard,'' Mr Basu said in a statement, adding he should have clearly mentioned this point yesterday.
In the same vein, West Bengal Assembly Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim also said it was for the Centre to decide whether Ms Nasreen would stay in the country.
Last night, Mr Basu had remarked that the Bangladeshi writer should leave the state if peace was disturbed because of her presence.
''The Chief Minister offered her refuge in the city at the behest of two central ministers. Now if there is any breach of peace because of her, she should leave the state,'' Mr Basu had said.
''On behalf of the state party, I want to inform the people that I am correcting my last night's statement,'' he said today.
The comment Mr Basu made yesterday created a flutter, particularly among the city elite, since it was in tune with the demand of the people who kicked up a largescale violence in the city yesterday. Under the banner of Indian Minority Forum, a section of people forced a three-hour shutdown in certain places of the city demanding that Ms Nasreen be deported and her visa cancelled.
However, Mr Basu later clarified that he did not demand Ms Nasreen's ouster, but only said what she should do considering the situation.
Coming out in support of Ms Nasreen, noted writer and Sahitya Akademi award winner Sunil Gangopadhyay, theatre personalities Usha Ganguly and Rudra Prasad Sengupta, poet Subodh Sarkar, novelist Suchitra Bhattacharyay and others deplored the demand for her ejection.