After Nandigram, which went to poll on April 1, the Bharatiya Janata Party has turned on the heat on Singur with Union home minister Amit Shah leading a road-show on Wednesday (April 7). Here he reiterated that the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government would be voted out of power.
The two heroes of the Singur movement of 2006-08—Rabindranath Bhattacharya of the BJP and Becharam Manna of the Trinamool Congress—are taking on each other.
Earlier, on April 3 Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election meeting in neighbouring Haripal Assembly segment in the same Hooghly district.
Incidentally, Becharam’s wife, Karabi Manna is contesting on the TMC ticket from here.
Modi strongly criticised the industrial policy of the Mamata Banerjee government and charged that she had done nothing for the farmers of Singur who got the land after Tatas left the scene.
The Tatas wanted to set up Nano car plant here but the stiff resistance by farmers under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee compelled the company to withdraw.
Modi, then the Gujarat chief minister, had offered land to the Tatas to set up the plant.
But the TMC is quick to counter Modi by asking him as to why the plant in Gujarat had closed down in May 2018.
It needs to be mentioned that Rabindranath was then a close associate of Mamata. He got the party ticket in 2011 and even became a minister.
However, the party decided to drop his name as he was approaching 90. On March 8, he switched sides and joined the BJP which on March 14 gave ticket to him.
Becharam, also a leading light of the Singur movement, had been representing Haripal seat since 2011. But this time the party gave him the ticket from Singur and his wife from Haripal. Mamata Banerjee had made it a prestige issue to ensure the victory of both husband and wife.