Sonia slams West Bengal government over Nandigram (Lead)

April 28th, 2008 - 11:01 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Kolkata, April 28 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Monday came down heavily on the Left-uled West Bengal government for its handling of the Nandigram issue, and said the state government “doesn’t care for its farmers”. Addressing a farmers’ rally in Murshidabad district, Sonia Gandhi said: “The way Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee handled the Nandigram issue is nothing but an extreme torture for the farmers of the area. Moreover, I can’t see the development in Bengal that the CPI-M-run government boasts of. And the reason behind the lack of development is the present Bengal government doesn’t care for its farmers.”

She expressed her solidarity with West Bengal farmers.

“We are resolved to work with and for the farmers. Besides, the Bengal farmers are one of the major food suppliers of India. No development in India is possible without including them and safeguarding their interests,” she said.

Gandhi said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-led government at the centre is already working for the development of Indian farmers.

She also said the West Bengal government should take the initiative to check price rise of essential commodities and increase agricultural production.

“The state government should monitor price rise. They should also stop black-marketing of essential commodities,” Gandhi said while addressing a public meeting at Sujapur in Malda district.

On inflation, she said the prices of petrol, wheat and rice had increased in the international market. But the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-led government at the centre had not increased the price of kerosene, keeping in mind the interests of the common people.

“It’s very easy to criticise the central government. But the state government should first undertake its responsibility and find out why West Bengal is still lagging behind even after 30 years of Left regime,” she said.

The UPA chairperson, who came on a hurricane tour, visited the ancestral home of late Congress leader and former union minister A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury in Malda.

She had her lunch with the family members of Ghani Khan Choudhury.

Gandhi also met senior state Congress leaders at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport here Monday morning.

She came to West Bengal to campaign for the party before the panchayat elections in the state.

The panchayat elections in West Bengal will be held May 11, 14 and 18. Counting would be taken up May 21.

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