Nandigram crisis: Left's beginning of the end

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New Delhi, Nov 22: Terming Nandigram violence as ''the beginning of the end for the Left parties,'' senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today said their ''mask'' as a mascot of the working class had fallen and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddadeb Bhattacharjee had violated his oath to serve the people without fear or prejudice.

In an informal chat with mediapersons, Dr Joshi said Nandigram was an issue that involved both Centre and West Bengal governments. When Mr Bhattacharjee said his men had saved and recaptured the lands, it violated the very oath he had taken that he would serve the people without fear or prejudice, ill-will against anybody, he said.

''This is not just blatant violation of his own oath but legitimisation of violence. Is he supporting the rich against the poor,'' he asked.

He said inhabitants of Nandigram were beaten and uprooted and hounded from their ancestral lands and houses. ''When the Governor or the Court intervenes in the matter, it is seen as polticisation by those in power,'' he remarked adding that the Nandigram had shown that even the Leftist intellectuals had given up hope. ''You have seen it happening in Russia, China, Hungary and many east European countries. Even former West Bengal Finance Minister Ashok Mitra had distanced himself from the CPI-M saying that for him the party was over,'' Dr Joshi said.

''Where are film personalities like Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed, who went berserk when Gujarat riots took place and went out of the way to defend M F Hussain painting naked Gods and Godesses in the name of ''freedom to express'' now? Why are they silent on Nandigram brutalities? What do they have to say about fundamentalists including Jamat elements demanding to expulsion of Taslima Nasreen,'' he asked.

Dr Joshi, who is the Chairman of the Parliamentary Panel that worked on Special Economic Zones (SEZs), said the Centre cannot escape its share of responsibility to and blame it on the ground that the law and order was a state subject. ''The state cannot allow multi-crop irrigated land for locating the SEZs. If this is stopped most of the problems would be solved,'' he said.

The country cannot lose its valuable arable lands at a time when it was short of food grains. The SEZs should be allowed in rainfed areas and not in irrigated areas, Dr Joshi added.


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