Mamata claims moral victory; outlandish drama, says Left

New Delhi, Dec 29 | Updated: Dec 30 2006, 05:48am hrs
Concerns raised by NDA leaders about her deteriorating health and the appeal from both the President and Prime Minister on Thursday led Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to call off her 25-day-long hunger strike against the Tata Motors small car project in Singur.

As everyone was looking for a decent route to end the impasse, the appeal from the people holding high constitutional offices did the trick. "I am ending the fast because the countrys top leaders, including President APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, have requested me to do so," she said while ending her fast in Kolkata. She, however, said, "Our agitation will continue under the banner of Krishi Jamee Bachao (Save Farmers land) Committee till we achieve our goal," and claimed that her hunger strike was a moral victory.

Feeling a sigh of relief, political parties across the spectrum welcomed Banerjees decision to end her hunger strike and talks with the state government are expected to take place after she recovers.

Though CPI(M) leader Nilotpal Basu welcomed the Banerjees decision to end her hunger strike, he dismissed her act as an outlandish drama. He said the state government was willing to discuss all issues relating to the Singur project with her from the beginning.

The BJP on Friday said that Banerjee had totally exposed the double speak of the Left parties using their own logic and idioms putting West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in the shoes of Union finance minister P Chidambaram and commerce minister Kamal Nath.

The party spokesman Arun Jaitley said Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjees agitation had made West Bengal CM Budhadeb Bhattacharjee speak about job creation, economy and development.