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Left agrees to state-level talks on Nandigram
May 15, 2007 01:41 IST
Softening its stand and accepting the demand made by the Trinamool Congress, West Bengal's ruling Left Front has decided to convene a state-level all-party meeting. The move is expected to take the Nandigram peace process forward.
After a crucial Front meeting on Monday, chairman Biman Bose said the time and venue of the meeting would be worked out in consultation with Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghose, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and other top Left leaders.
Although the Communist Party of India (Marxist) agreed to the demand of the Opposition and its allies that a state-level meeting be held first, it snubbed the allies for bypassing the ruling coalition in taking a decision.
Bose said it would have been better to first hold a district-level all-party meeting in East Midnapore (the district in which Nandigram is located).
The Trinamool had rejected the proposal.
"Since we want peace at any cost, we have agreed to what they (the Opposition) want," he said.
A Left Front meeting had on May 7 decided that a district-level meeting should precede broader parleys.
Seeking to expedite the process, the front had also empowered all partners to initiate peace parleys on their own and talk to the Opposition. Ghose was entrusted to broker peace in Nandigram.
Later, the three smaller partners held a series of meetings among themselves after Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee contacted Ghose requesting him to convene an all-party meeting.
Differences within the front surfaced when the Forward Bloc, the RSP and the CPI went against the earlier decision, holding a similar view as that of the Trinamool and the Congress on the modalities for the peace talks.