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Fernandes joins Mamata's indefinite hunger strike

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Kolkata, Dec 5: NDA leader George Fernandes joined Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee at the venue of her indefinite hunger strike here today to express solidarity with her on the Singur issue.

Mr Fernandes, known to having a long affinity with Ms Banerjee, alleged that the Left Front government in West Bengal was forcibly acquiring farm land.

Ms Banerjee began her indefinite hunger strike yesterday protesting acquisition of farm land at Singur in Hooghly district for setting up Tata Motors' small car unit and alleged police atrocoties on the protestors.

Samajwadi Party state president Vijay Upadhaya and four other Trinamool Congress leaders were also taking part in the hunger strike.

Yesterday Chief Minister Buddhedeb Bhattacharjee offered fresh talks with the Opposition on compensation package and rehabilitation for the displaced farmers, but said the government would go ahead with the project at Singur.

Rejecting the talk offer, Ms Banerjee, however, said she would not enter into any dialogue with the government till land acquisition was stopped.

Meanwhile, BJP national president Rajnath Singh, also shared dais with Ms Banerjee yesterday and courted arrested on his way to Singur to lend support to the cause she was fighting for.

Mr Singh and Mr Fernandes' presence promped the Congress to distance itself from the Trinamool Congress in carrying out a joint movement.

State Congress working president Pradip Bhattacharya said here yesterday that the party would not maintain any truck with the NDA and it would go alone on the Singur issue.

UNI

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