Stars and stripes over Nandigram

New Delhi, Mar 30 | Updated: Mar 31 2007, 05:41am hrs
Is there a foreign angle to the Nandigram fiasco At least the CPI(M), particularly politburo member Brinda Karat, thinks there is. Karat, who submitted a report on the whole Nandigram issue to the party, suspected the US and its supporters tacit involvement in spearheading a campaign against the CPI(M) both at the state and the national level.

The report submitted by Karat went on to claim, US officials held an unprecedented meeting with a leader involved in the mobilisation of the minority community in Nandigram. But Karats report fails to disclose the name of the leader or provide any details of the so-called unprecedented meeting.

Claiming that the CPI(M) was virtually a victim of its anti-US and anti-imperialist policies, the report stated: The categorical position the CPI(M) has taken against the strategic partnership with the US being pushed by the Indian ruling classes and a section of the establishment, is reason enough for these interests to lend their support to the anti-CPI(M) platforms. She added: The effort is to demoralise the party and vilify it and thus weaken the only credible opposition to the exploitative policies of the ruling classes.

The CPI(M), which held the US somewhat responsible for its plight following the Nandigram mishap, has decided to launch a massive campaign as a part of its damage control exercise. While leaflets, booklets and audio cassettes explaining the partys viewpoint would be distributed, the party also intends to hold public rallies and question-answer sessions across the state.

The leaflets with captions like Amra ghore phirte chai (we want to return home) would describe the situation of the 2,500 CPI(M) workers reportedly evicted from Nandigram. The booklets would include arguments forwarded by West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and state housing minister Gautam Deb.

However, a CPI(M) politburo member, who appeared confident that the situation in the state would come under control within the next six months, said the party was more concerned about the damage at the national level. Our image has taken a major hit at the national level, particularly among the farming community. We have to evolve a well chalked out strategy to refurbish our image, the leader said.