All’s not well for West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. According to reports, the ruling Left Front plunged into fresh crisis after its alliance Forward Bloc said its ministers would not attend the state secretariat from Monday to protest Bhattacharjee’s order to renew the license of German major Metro Cash and Carry.
The Bloc’s ire stemmed from a letter from chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb to the district magistrate of South 24 Parganas at the instruction of Bhattacharjee that the wholesale major be given a renewed licence to do business in the state.
The alliance party, holding the portfolios of agriculture and agricultural marketing in the state ministry, also threatened that it may even leave the ministry if the issue is not resolved soon.
Metro Cash and Carry started constructing a 100,000 square feet outlet with an investment of USD 30 million in the southeast of capital city Kolkata, a couple of years back. The entire project got delayed due to land disputes. It was granted a licence to trade in APMC commodities in 2005, which was subsequently renewed twice in 2006 and 2007 to be valid till March 2008. However, in June 2007, the said licence was unilaterally withdrawn by APMC authorities. The company filed for issuance of fresh APMC licence in March 2008 and is still awaiting the same.