An ever-widening rift has opened up between the Left Parties and their adherents as a consequence of the West Bengal government’s controversial land acquisition policies. On March 14, 2007, the ongoing Singur-Nandigram imbroglio took a tragic turn when the government of West Bengal sent in a police force that opened fire on villagers who were incensed by the acquisition of agricultural land in nearby Singur for industrial use and apprehended that their turn had come. Fourteen people died in the police firing and scores of others were injured. This tragic turn of events has aggravated recently created fault lines within the Left. Medha Patkar, heroic leader of the anti-dam movement Narmada Bachao Andolan, was arrested in December by the West Bengal police when she made common cause with the Singur agitators and denounced the government’s land acquisition policies.

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