Bengal housing minister leaves CPM redfaced
Left leaders are playing down the utterances to a TV channel, saying it's typical Deb-speak—”aggressive and sharp”. Deb had told the channel it wouldn't be possible to set up industry in Bengal only on non-agricultural land. “It is better to acquire non-agricultural land but the government cannot entirely say no to agricultural land otherwise there will not be any industry in West Bengal,” he said. Deb's statement may be practical —only 1% of Bengal's land is fallow —but his stand is at variance with the CPM's Vijawada resolution where it was said that no land should be taken without the landowner's consent, especially small farmers.
There has been no confusion with what Deb said about the land acquisition procedure, said CPM central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty. “His comment is in tune with the party line and there is no confusion,” he claimed.
Another CPM leader, requesting anonymity, said: “He is known for his aggression and snappy and sharp statements. You should not read beyond what he said as he is a member of the central committee and will not say anything not in tune with the party line.”
This is not the first time Deb, who is the party's most visible face after Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee pre-election, has joined issue with the party on land acquisition and other matters.
Deb had expressed his differences of