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Mamata begins indefinite hunger strike

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Dec 4 (UNI) Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee began an indefinite hunger strike here today in protest against the acquisition of agricultural land at Singur for the Tata Motros' small car project.

BJP President Rajnath Singh, would share dais with Ms Banerjee in the city's Esplanade area where the fast was going on, to extend solidarity to her.

Ms Banerjee, who has been spearheading an opposition movement on the Singur issue, announced her decision yesterday to go for a hunger strike if the government did not stop acquiring farm land and 'police atrocities' on protestors in 24 hours.

Before beginning the hunger strike programme, the Trinamool leader made a scathing attack on the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government alleging that it was 'headlong corrupt'. She asserted that she would not move from the venue until her demands were met and the movement would be intensified.

Her decision to shift to hunger strike from a belligerent movement came two days after a violence erupted at Singur in which a section of Naxalite and SUCI supporters fought pitched battles with police stealing the limelight for championing the cause of farmers.

However, yesterday Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee asserted at a CITU rally that the Tatas' project was irreversible and the Government would go ahead with its industrialisation move striking a perfect balance with agriculture.

He had assured that the project would usher in other industries in the area and change the local economy to the benefit of all sections of people.

The Trinamool 'didi' had alleged that the Chief Minister was sticking to his 'ego' by going ahead with the project on agricultural land despite the threat to livelihood of thousands of farmers.

However, the presence of Mr Rajnath Singh with Ms Banerjee, gave a twist to the chain of events on the Singur issue as the Congress declared that it would not remain with the Trinamool in the movement against acquisition of agricultural land as long as BJP was there.

''We will not be with the Trinamool on this issue if the BJP gets along. We will carry out a separate movement on our own. We can not have trucks with the BJP since it is a 'communal force' and our main enemy at the national level,'' Pradesh Congress Working President Pradip Bhattacharjee said.

The Congress today organized a rally in the city protesting the farm land acquisition and police lathicharge on agitators.

Earlier in the day, Mr Rajnath Singh tried to go to Singur, but he was sent back by police to Kolkata from Maitypara on the fringe of the area for the small car factory site.

UNI KDG JYN RN1508

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