Mamata Banerjee faints during election campaign

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Cooch Behar, May 13 (UNI) AITC supremo Mamata Banerjee, campaigning at Tufanganj for the Panchayat polls, today fainted due to excessive heat and humidity.

Ms Banerjee, who in her speech heralded the victory of the peasants in connection with the Supreme Court's decision to take up the case of land acquisition for the Tata's Nano car project at Singur, was unable to bear the intense heat and fainted.

However, she recovered soon after her party colleagues and workers helped her down and took her to a sheltered area.

The firebrand leader later left for another campaign in Mathabhanga in the district.

''It is our victory, the victory of the peasants,'' she said while responding to a journalist's question on the Supreme Court's decision to examine the validity of the acquisition of land in Singur by the state government for the Tata car plant.

The apex court had issued notices to the Tatas, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation(WBIDC) and the state government on petitions filed by some farmers whose fertile land had been forcibly acquired by the government for setting up of the Special Economic Zone(SEZ) by the Tatas on the 1000-acre land there.

''The peasants had lost the case in Calcutta High Court, but this time they will get justice and the guilty will be punished,'' she maintained while accusing the lawyers at the apex court of having been "bought" by the Tatas.

The Supreme Court will hear the case after a month.

The farmers had challenged the acquisition of land by the state government under chapter two of SEZ, in which the government can acquire a land for public purpose even without the consent of the land owner.

Notification for acquisition of 1000 acres of fertile land at Singur was issued by the government in August 2006. The farmers had challenged the government notification in Calcutta High Court where their petitions were dismissed on January 18.

UNI XC LL PL RN1703

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