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Headlines    Vol. 1 Issue No. 6    February 22, - March 6,  2002

Terrorism in common enemy of Assam, West Bengal
Criticising Centre’s financial policies, West Bengal Chief Minister says socialism and secularism are the right ways to solve country’s burning problems.

Addressing the open session of the 17th State conference of the CPI (M) in Guwahati, West Bengal Chief Minister and CPI (M) politburo member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee made a scathing attack on the policies of the Central Government. The West Bengal Chief Minister said that the answer to financial crisis faced by the country lies in adopting socialism and not by surrendering to American coalition and dictates of the World Bank. He drew parallel with Argentine collapse to drive home his point. He called upon the progressive and democratic forces of the country to unite against the communal and fundamentalist forces in an oblique but apparent reference to the BJP to uphold the secular traditions of the country. He said that the US was the main source of terrorism and it was even involved in sponsoring terrorism in West Bengal and the North-East along with the ISI of Pakistan. Mr. Bhattacharjee asserted that the KLO in West Bengal was being backed by the ISI. “Or else how can you explain KLO militants in possession of sophisticated arms?”

In the aftermath of the strike on American Centre in Kolkata, the west Bengal Chief Minister said that Assam and West Bengal now had a common enemy and hence both should give a united thrust to fight and force them out. Though he blasted Pakistan and the policies of Parvez Musharraf and said that Pakistan was openly carrying out subversive activities in our country, at the same time he opined that “India cannot afford a war with Pakistan at this present moment”. Political and diplomatic measures to put pressure on Islamabad were considered by the West Bengal Chief Minister as the best policy that the Central Government can adopt at this point of time.

The farmers, coal mine labourers and the tea industry of West Bengal were facing abject adversity due to the Central Government’s decision to import rice, tea and coal from abroad, said the Chief Minister. The West Bengal Government has had raised objections but the Centre has turned a deaf ear. In his out and out vitriolic assertations against the Central Government, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that Delhi was not least concerned to remove unemployment, poverty and look into anomalies like unequal distribution of wealth. He also opined that Hindu and Muslim fundamentalism were both dangerous for the country. He said that the BJP was trying to gain mileage before the UP polls by generating patriotic fervour and projecting a war with Pakistan. He also accused the BJP of trying to divide the Hindus and the Muslims in UP.
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