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Home > News > Report

Mamata plans big Singur solidarity rally on Wed

Indrani Roy Mitra in Mumbai | February 06, 2007 21:45 IST

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Parts of Kolkata came to a standstill on Tuesday as protests, sit-ins and road blockades were organised by Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in protest against 'police atrocities' at Singur as also against the imposition of Section 144 there.

At noon on Tuesday, the city virtually came to a standstill as TC put up blockades at several places to voice their anger. This is not all. The party is planning a big rally on Wednesday wherein people will march to downtown Kolkata to express solidarity with the 'suffering peasants and tillers of West Bengal.'

According to insiders, police 'have left no stone unturned in dissuading Mamata from conducting the Wednesday meeting. They inform that the TC chief had been told that 'some other party' has booked the scheduled venue for a meeting. But a resolute Mamata has decided to go ahead with her plans.

"If need be, our leaders will address the people from the vehicles they will be travelling in," she is reported to have said.

Writer and activist Mahasweta Devi, despite an ailing health, is expected to stand by Mamata. Wednesday's event will be held under the aegis of the Paschimbanga Krishijomi Raksha Committee, an umbrella organisation comprising several political parties and outfits.

Meanwhile, Sidikulla Chowdhury, leader of Jamaat-e-Ulema Hind, plans to go to Singur on Wednesday with his followers. With grit as firm as that of Mamata's, Chowdhury says his people will approach Singur from different points of the state. In case police put up any resistance, they will sit in dharnas and even block the highways.

Tata group chief Ratan Tata flew into Kolkata late on Monday evening to call on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirupam Sen. After a marathon meet lasting over two and half hours, Tata and the chief minister fielded questions from the media.

Given the pace of work at Singur, he was confident that the small car will be rolled out by 2008, Tata said, adding that the Singur project will create jobs and improve livelihoods of people.

More than 1,000 villagers were now working on the project site, Bhattacharya said.

Responding to queries whether Tata will talk to political parties to bring about a consensus, Tata said, "I am not a politician, but I am ready to talk to any reasonable party... as an industrialist, we should not be involved in the process."





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