I regret saying rivals paid back in own coin: Buddhadeb


New Delhi : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya Tuesday regretted his statement on the Nandigram violence that villagers allegedly targeted by his party cadres were “paid back in their own coin”.

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“I should have not said so. The statement has drawn so much criticism,” said Bhattacharya at a press conference at Banga Bhawan here.

He was asked why he had made the statement after members of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) virtually seized Nandigram amid much violence.

He also acknowledged that the violence in Nandigram was a “political and administrative failure” and said his priority was to bring back normalcy to the region in East Midnapore district where clashes between rival groups over land acquisition for industry since January left over 35 people dead.

Stressing that he wanted “peace for all”, the chief minister also said the situation in the area was gradually coming back to normalcy.

Bhattacharya, here for the CPI-M politburo meet, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday besides Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani.

He reiterated that the violence in Nandigram had not affected investments in the state.

To a question on the adverse reaction the violence had on the intellectual community and the media, he said: “The reaction of the media and intellectuals was quite natural because no sensible person can accept it.”

On Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, who was moved to Rajasthan from Kolkata following protests by a Muslim group last month, Bhattacharya said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee would decide on the return of Nasreen to the West Bengal capital.