The West Bengal government has decided to postpone its ongoing industrialisation drive for three months to take up an extensive campaign to convince people that it would not take place at the cost of agriculture, former Chief Minister Jyoti Basu said on Friday.
"The industrialisation drive has been postponed for three months. During this time, our party activists and those of our mass organisations will go to the people and convince them that industrialisation would not take place at the cost of agriculture," the veteran Marxist leader told reporters in Kolkata.
Virtually censuring the Buddhadev Bhattacharya government on the matter, the veteran Marxist leader said, "There has been a misunderstanding (on the issue). This could have been avoided if we had convinced the people. The campaign should have been undertaken much earlier."
Front Chairman and CPI-M State Secretary Biman Bose, however, said there was neither a decision to postpone the industrialisation drive, nor to go overboard with it.
Asked whether the non-placement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2006, before the assembly would affect the state's industrialisation process, Basu replied in the negative. "I have heard that it is difficult to place the Bill in the Assembly. Perhaps it is not coming. But it will not affect industrialisation."
The three other Front majors -- the CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP -- had said on Thursday that they were against special economic zones and the move to relax the Land Ceiling Act to enable acquisition of larger land holding for industry.