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Nandigram issue likely to rock Parliament on Monday

Source: PTI
November 18, 2007 21:32 IST
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The Nandigram issue is expected to generate heat in Parliament when its brief winter session resumes on Monday with the Bharatiya Janata Party hinting at going ballistic on the Centre's silence about the events in the area.

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who has already moved a motion in Rajya Sabha for a debate on Nandigram on Monday, launched a sharp attack on the Congress for remaining silent on the Nandigram violence and said his party wanted a debate on the issue in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

"It is highly surprising that the Congress is silent on Nandigram. Just because CPI-M is backing the UPA government at the Centre, it is improper to forgive its cadre as Nandigram was made a war zone," said Joshi.

He said no senior Congress leader, neither party chief Sonia Gandhi nor Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, visited Nandigram.

"It seems the Congress is quiet on Nandigram either to save the UPA government led by it at the Centre or to make CPI-M soften its stand on the Indo-US nuclear deal", the former Union minister alleged.

To a query, Joshi said he did not favour the imposition of President's rule in Bengal but the Centre could have given a warning to the state government in accordance with constitutional provisions.

He charged West Bengal state agencies and CPI-M cadres with converting Nandigram into a war zone.

The notice for the adjournment motion sent by Joshi seeks suspension of the Question Hour on Monday to allow discussion on the Nandigram issue.

Giving the notice, Joshi said a serious situation had arisen in Nandigram due to the "barbaric atrocities perpetrated on women farmers and other weaker sections of the society".

Refusing to accept that the matter was a state subject, the party argues that it can be debated in Parliament like 2002 post-Gordhra riots in Gujarat.

The BJP says Nandigram is not a state issue exclusively as it pertains to acquisition of land for Special Economic Zone, which is a central subject.

Meanwhile, stepping up pressure on the CPI-M on the Nandigram issue, a delegation of Congress leaders, including Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee and Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, met Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Delhi and suggested that a high-level team be sent to the area to assess the situation.

Coming down heavily on the CPI-M, Congress accused the Left party of putting the interests of its cadres above that of the people in Nandigram
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