BENGAL POLITICS: Friend to critic in 24 hours

BENGAL POLITICS: Friend to critic in 24 hours – long time coming or an inherent nature ?!!

Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghosh with Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Monday - betrayal imminent as downfall nears ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Calcutta, June 22: Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghosh today said Left unity could not be achieved sitting at Alimuddin Street as the “struggle ahead is difficult’’, a day after he declared in the presence of the CPM brass that the alliance would stay in power no matter what people said.

“In 2009, only the Forward Bloc had realised that the front was facing a crisis. It is only our party, which had realised that the front was losing its revolutionary character…. We are facing a critical situation now. At this juncture, Left unity is a must. But that cannot be achieved sitting at Alimuddin Street. We have to fan out to the districts and create better co-ordination among the partners,” Ghosh told a party gathering on its foundation day.

At Netaji Indoor Stadium yesterday, on the occasion of the front government’s 33rd anniversary, the Bloc state secretary had said: “Let people say whatever they want. The Left Front government is here to stay and will remain so after next year’s Assembly elections. I want to say this to those who are dreaming of dislodging us and occupying the chief minister’s chair.”

Today, Ghosh also said the front had failed to properly implement the programmes it had initially intended to un- dertake. “The programmes we had decided upon to run the Left Front government have not been implemented fully and properly, though the Forward Bloc has tried its best to do so,” Ghosh said at Mahajati Sadan.

Yesterday, he had asserted that a tough fight could be waged against the Opposition on the basis of the programmes the front had undertaken.

Suri alliance – the ‘commie-congie nexus’ now clear ?!!

Bolpur, June 22: The Congress and the Left today prevented the Trinamul Congress from forming the board in the 18-member Suri municipality by supporting an Independent for the chairman’s office.

Ujjwal Mukherjee got 11 votes — one more than what he needed. It came from a Trinamul councillor. Of the other 10, six came from the Congress, three from the Left.

Trinamul’s Preeti Bhattacharya got seven votes, though the party has eight councillors. Mukherjee had contested as an Independent after Trinamul had denied him a ticket.

Night train bar stays – air travel the only safe alternative ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU

June 22: The railways today extended till June 26 the bar on night trains passing through the Maoist-hit areas.

It means several long-distance trains bound for western India from Howrah will continue to leave early in the morning instead of night.

Among them are the Mumbai-bound Jnaneswari Express, whose Maoist-engineered derailment on May 28 had prompted the move. The train will leave Howrah at 4.30am instead of 10.55pm.

The Howrah-Mumbai Mail via Nagpur will leave at 5am instead of 8.15pm, the Howrah-Pune Azad Hind Express will leave at 5.30am instead of 9.55pm and the Howrah-Ahmedabad Express will leave at 4am instead of 11.55pm.

One the way to Howrah, Jnaneswari, Samarsatta Express, Mumbai Mail, Azad Hind Express and Porbandar Express will leave eight hours behind schedule so that they do not reach Jharsuguda in Jharkhand before 4am. The Howrah-Adra-Chakradharpur Passenger, the Howrah-Adra-Bokaro Passenger and the Kharagpur-Tata Passenger will remain cancelled till June 26.

Tata concern

The suspension of night train services is affecting business in the region, Tata Steel managing director H.M. Nerurkar said in Jamshedpur.

The company is trying to revive air connectivity to the steel city to get around the problem, he added.

Maoists not involved in Jnaneswari disaster : Kishenji – then who is involved, the CPM with the probable aim to discredit Mamata ?!!

FROM THE TIMES OF INDIA

KOLKATA, Jun 22, 2010, 03.52pm IST (PTI): Top Maoist leader Kishenji today claimed that his oufit was not involved in the May 28 Jnaneswari Express disaster in West Midnapore district that claimed 148 lives.

“We are not involved in the derailment of the Jnaneswari Express. We have no relation with the people who have done it,” Kishenji said from an undisclosed location.

When pointed out that police was accusing Maoists for the mishap, he said, “We have said earlier that we were not involved in the accident. The police can cook up their own stories.

“We are fighting for the people and we will not do anything at their cost,” said the Maoist Politburo member, who has remained incommunicado for a month with the police claiming that he was injured in the Hatiloth forest encounter on March 25 and was hiding somewhere in West Midnapore district.

On June 19, West Midnapore Superintendent of Police, Manoj Verma had said that Kishenji was hiding with senior leader Bikash and woman leader Tara, who was believed to have led the Maoists who raided the Eastern Frontier Rifles camp at Sildah on February 15 that left 24 personnel dead.

Earlier, after the arrest on June 20 of one of the main accused in the train disaster, Bapi Mahto from a guest house at Adityapur in Jharkhand’s Sarikela-Kharswan district, Maoist spokesman Akash had also claimed that Maoists did not kill innocent people and were not involved. He had also said that Mahto did not belong to the outfit.

Bengal trio tipped for Maoist hot list – when the greatest atrocities have happened where, no one wonders ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY NISHIT DHOLABHAI

New Delhi, June 22: The government has decided to expand the list of 34 districts most affected by Maoist violence by including some in Bengal and Jharkhand amid fears that money pumped into lawless areas were passing into rebel hands.

Sources in Delhi said the Centre was thinking of adding Bankura and Purulia in Bengal to the list, apart from West Midnapore.

Till now, no district in Bengal is officially on the most-affected list.

The government is also planning to add Khunti, Ranchi rural and Giridih in Jharkhand to the list, the sources said.

Districts labelled most affected get special attention in implementation of development schemes. Stress is also laid on meeting security and infrastructure deficits.

West Midnapore MP Prabodh Panda told The Telegraph the district was added to the list during a recent meeting of parliamentarians. However, the district, which includes Maoist hotbed Lalgarh, is not yet officially part of the list.

This means if Bankura and Purulia are included, the number of most-affected districts will go up to 37 in nine states, Bengal being the ninth. It will be 40 districts if the three from Jharkhand are added to the existing 11 already on the list.

Sources said the Centre was also planning to add more districts to the list of those eligible for the security-related expenditure (SRE) scheme. Bengal and the other eight states want more districts to be added to the 83 now part of the SRE scheme.

Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore are already on the list of 83 SRE districts. To be labelled most affected, districts require to be part of the SRE list.

However, doubts persist within the home ministry about the efficacy of investing more money in districts where the state has virtually no control over large areas. “Instead of pumping in resources, areas where Maoists are likely to spread should be brought under special development schemes,” said a home ministry source.

In other words, “pre-emptive” development in areas that could be affected by Maoist violence.

Sources said some decisions were taken on Jharkhand when Union home minister P. Chidambaram visited Ranchi earlier this month and that Deoghar and Dumka were among the districts proposed to be added to the SRE list.

The Centre, the sources added, may also invest about Rs 100 crore in a training institute for the Jharkhand Jaguars, the special anti-Maoist task force of the state police.

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