Samajwadi Party, Trinamool will work together: Amar SinghJuly 30th, 2008 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, July 30 (IANS) In an apparent bid to take on the Left parties for hobnobbing with arch rivals Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party Wednesday announced it will join hands with the Trinamool Congress in movements against organised retail and special economic zones (SEZ) in the Left-ruled West Bengal. “Now even salt and sugar will be sold by the Ambanis and Walmart, and the Left Front government in West Bengal will encourage them at the expense of small traders,” Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh told reporters here Wednesday.
“We can no longer tolerate this. I have given word of affirmation to Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee that the Samajwadi Party now onwards will work with the Trinamool to safeguard farmers and small traders of the state.”
Singh, who had a half-hour meeting with the Trinamool Congress chief, said he considered her as sister.
“Banerjee has always fought for the interest of poor people. Now our party too will be a part of her movement. Whenever she will call me to join her, I will be there - be it at Singur, Nandigram or any other part of the state.”
Singh’s meeting with Banerjee comes days after Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat held several rounds of parleys with BSP supremo Mayawati in a futile attempt to topple the UPA government from which the Left withdrew support earlier this month over the India-US nuclear deal.
Karat is also in talks with Mayawati to form a third alternative to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“I personally will participate in the Trinamool rally Sep 1 against organised retail here and will try to bring our party president Mulayam Singh Yadav too,” Singh said.
He said Banerjee has also invited him to be present at her party’s indefinite sit-in outside the Tata Motors’ small car factory in Singur of Hooghly district from Aug 20 if the government does not return 400 acres of land taken from “unwilling” farmers for the project.
“I will try to come. Otherwise, I will send some other leader,” he said.
On being asked if the adjustment with Trinamool is being done keeping in mind the coming Lok Sabha elections, Singh said: “I have known Banerjee for decades - we started our political career together. Even when I was supporting the Left, my heart was with her. The relationship never soured. And when there had always been emotional and policy adjustments, there is no problem in a political adjustment.”
“All the seats that Trinamool Congress wins in the Lok Sabha belong to the Samajwadi Party and vice-versa. Banerjee is not alone. All my 56-60 MPs will now work for her,” Singh added. Banerjee is the sole Trinamool Lok Sabha member.
Singh said Banerjee has requested him to talk to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on withdrawal of SEZ policy, return the 400 acres land “forcibly” taken from the farmers in Singur, and initiate necessary steps to save the small retail markets.