Panskura victory oxygen to anti-land acquisition stir: Mamata


Kolkata : Rejoicing over the victory in civic elections in Panskura of East Midnapore district Wednesday, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said the result had clearly indicated the growing support of people to the West Bengal opposition's movement against forcible land acquisition.

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"The victory comes after the movement against the proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Nandigram and the brutal police firing that killed 14 and left over hundreds injured," Banerjee told a press conference here at her south Kolkata residence.

"The victory in Panskura local body seat is a tribute to those who lost their loved ones in the March 14 police firing and still suffering from spiralling tension," she said.

Nandigram in East Midnapore district, about 150 km from here, has been witnessing protests over possible land acquisition for an SEZ coming up there.

Of the 17 seats under the Panskura municipality, the Trinamool Congress-Congress combine won in 10 while the Left Front lost its stronghold in the area as it bagged only seven. Trinamool alone got eight seats while the Congress bagged two.

Expressing happiness over the municipal poll and panchayat by-election results, she said the victory in Panskura will give "fresh oxygen" to the party's movement against land acquisition for industry.

Elections were held Sunday for 104 seats of five municipalities – Panskura, Dhupguri, Durgapur, Nalhati and Cooper's Camp, besides by-elections in 11 wards of 10 municipalities as well as 516 panchayat seats comprising 24 zilla parishads, 94 panchayat samitis and 398 gram panchayats.

"Though we could not contest in all 398 gram panchayat seats, the Trinamool Congress has secured victory in 81 seats altogether. But the Panskura municipal seat was like a fight for prestige and now the results have shown that people living in and around Nandigram are with us," she said.

Stressing again on the need for an anti-Left alliance, Banerjee said all opposition parties in the state should come under one umbrella and fight against the Left Front.

"If we can fight together the Left Front would not be in power in West Bengal. But before forming the alliance, we have to make sure that there would be a single transparent policy about the alliance everywhere," the Trinamool chief said.