Invoke article 355 in West Bengal, urges Advani

via published on March 16, 2007

New Delhi:Leader of opposition in parliament L.K. Advani Thursday called for invoking article 355 of the constitution – against SEZs – in West Bengal and to ‘rush’ central paramilitary forces to Nandigram to restore a sense of security among the people.

Reacting sharply to the killing of 14 people in Nandigram, Advani said: ‘This incredible situation is reminiscent of the terror unleashed on his own people by the CPM’s idol Josef Stalin in the erstwhile Soviet Union in the 1930s. This cannot be allowed to happen in democratic 21st century India.’

Advani also asked the central government to use article 355 to force the state government to unconditionally withdraw setting up of a special economic zone (SEZ) in Nandigram.

Article 355 of the constitution enjoins on the union government to secure every state of the union from external or internal dangers and ensure governance in conformity with the constitution.

He has also asked the government to safely escort Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee around Nandigram.

Advani has similarly sought to dispatch a team of MPs to interact with the people of Nandigram.

The Trinamul Congress has also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his personal intervention to ‘end the genocide launched in Nandigram and Khejuri in East Midnapore district in West Bengal‘.

‘You are the prime minister of all Indians and it is hoped that partisan considerations will not prevent you from acting according to your conscience,’ the party wrote.

The opposition’s desire to call on President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to seek the dismissal of the West Bengal government may have to wait awhile. The president is in the northeast region currently and will return only Fiday night. He would attend a seminar at the Vigyan Bhawan Saturday morning on the administration of India‘s criminal justice system.

So far there is no scheduled programme for the president beyond that and so the earliest meeting with him can take place only on Saturday afternoon, said Rashtrapati Bhawan sources.

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