Buddhadeb regrets statement over Nandigram

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New Delhi, Dec 4: Admitting ''political and administrative failure'' in Nandigram, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today regretted his statement on violence in the area that the villagers who were attacked were ''paid back in their own coin''.

''In fact I never meant that,'' Mr Bhattacharjee explained while talking to newspersons here after calling on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

''What happened in Nandigram is a lesson for us and it was our political as well as an administrative failure and this sort of scenario will never recur in West Bengal,'' the Chief Minister said.

He said the proposed chemical hub in Nandigram would now come up in Nayachur as there was no habitation there.

Responding to a question on the shifting of controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen from Kolkata, Mr Bhattacharjee said, ''It is for the Centre to decide on her residence status. Any future decision in this regard will be taken according to the Centre's directive.'' He said he apprised the Prime Minister about the prevailing situation in the violence-hit Nandigram, the industrial programmes initiated by the state government among other issues.

Mr Bhattacharjee said the state government has already released one crore rupees from the Chief Minister's relief fund for helping the affected people in Nandigram to purchase items of basic necessity.

He further said a senior official was appointed to take stock of the situation in Nandigram, on whose report further rehabilitation measures would be initiated.

The state government has also decided to distribute ''Mini Kits'' to the farmers for the coming Rabi season, he added.

He said the Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction at the gradual return of normalcy in Nandigram, adding that normalcy would be restored ''within another three to four weeks time''.

Replying to another query, the Chief Minister lauded the role played by CRPF in Nandigram. He said the Central Force has closed various trenches that were dug up the Maoists, who entered the State from Jharkhand.

Mr Bhattacharya ruled out any communal flare up in the state, saying there was no place for any ''communal activity'' in West Bengal. ''Though it is a fact that some of the Muslim organisations do support the Nandigram issue, but they are not part of any fundamentalist group,'' he added.

He said a ''concerted misinformation campaign'' has been launched against the Left Front government in West Bengal that the Nandigram happenings has resulted in the withdrawal of foreign as well as domestic investments. ''It is totally wrong and a myth. In fact Rs 90,000 crore is being invested in the Steel sector and several more investments are in the pipeline,'' he added.

Mr Bhattacharjee said Dr Singh has accepted his request to lay the foundation stone for the biggest private sector steel plant in the country at Shaloni in Bakura district.

Software giant IBM has already purchased over 70 per cent of the software park at Rajarhat industrial hub, he informed.


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