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Nano rally in Bengal
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NEW DELHI: Just as Nano launch by Tata Motors was being celebrated across the country, it became clear that the small car would become a double-edged political weapon in the red bastion of West Bengal. CPM on Monday pointed accusing fingers at not just the Trinamool Congress for the state losing the Nano project but also Congress, which has aligned with Mamata Banerjee's party.

The shadow of the project looms large not just over Singur but also in Alimuddin Street, which is set to turn the entire land acquisition debate on its head to accuse the opposition of being anti-development.

"In West Bengal it's already an issue. It's for the Congress to answer how it's in league with a party which will not allow development of the state," CPM politburo member Brinda Karat said at a press conference here while releasing the party's campaign booklet on price rise and food security. Ms Karat blamed the Trinamool Congress for the project moving out of West Bengal. She said the election campaign would focus on development issues and launched a scathing attack on the Congress-led government at the Centre.

The Trinamool Congress too is hoping to gain political mileage from its campaign against land acquisition in Singur, which is part of the Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency. Recent assembly by-polls and local body elections and an alliance with Congress have given added steam to Ms Banerjee's campaign.

In a strange coincidence, CPM began its pamphlet campaign in the Capital, the day Nano was being launched in Mumbai. Releasing the first in a series of 15 booklets under the theme "Aam Admi Suffers in High Growth India", Ms Karat said one of the UPA government's "biggest failures was anti-people food policies".

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