On East Midnapore tour, Mamata gives Nandigram a miss
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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee left for a two-day visit to East Midnapore today. Keeping an eye on the upcoming panchayat polls, she is expected to shower sops on the people during a rally near Haldia, a stronghold of CPM strongman Lakshman Seth.
Significantly, Mamata's sojourn in East Midnapore will not include a visit to Nandigram — the place that changed her political fortunes with the anti-land acquisition movement in 2007.
Trinamool Congress sources said that nothing should be made out of the fact that Mamata was giving Nandigram a miss. A section of party leaders said Mamata was fuming over the ongoing power tussle between many groups in the Haldia industrial hub and its neighbouring areas including Nandigram.
However, families of the victims of the Nandigram police firing of March 14, 2007, said they would attend Mamata's rally tomorrow at Haldia and Tamluk.
Interestingly, this year Mamata did not attend Singur Divas — on 25 September —- for the first time since the 2006 Singur movement, another landmark in Mamata's political career. Instead, she had sent a message to the Singur farmers reiterating her promise that the state government would return land to the unwilling farmers.
The chief minister's East Midnapore tour comes on the heels of an intensifying fractional feud within her party, which led to the party's debacle in the Haldia municipality elections.
Accompanied by her trusted lieutenant Mukul Roy, Mamata left Writers' Buildings around 3.30 pm today to hold an administrative meeting at Kolaghat in East Midnapore. Apart from a host of ministers, the district magistrate of East Midnapore and other key district officials attended the meeting where the chief minister reviewed the progress of the state government's ongoing projects.
Secretariat sources said Mamata was expected to take stock of the tourism projects announced for Digha and the coastal belts in East Midnapore. Trinamool MP Subhendu Adhikary and former Union minister of state for rural development, Sisir Adhikari were likely to attend the meeting. Mamata recently appointed Sisir as the adviser to the state panchayat and rural development department. Following the meeting, Mamata will stay at the CPT guesthouse in Haldia.
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