Millennium Post

Committed to welfare of farmers & promotion of industry: Mamata

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee remembered the third anniversary of the day when the state government handed over parchas (documents) of land to the farmers of Singur whose plots were forcibly acquired by the then Left Front government for the Nano factory.

She tweeted: "Today marks the third anniversary of the historic day when our Govt of #Bangla handed over to farmers the parchas of land forcibly acquired in Singur. We reiterate our commitment to the welfare of farmers, alongside promoting industry. My humble pronam to Maa, Mati, Manush."

It may be recalled that handing over the forcibly acquired land to the unwilling farmers of Singur was the main slogan of the Trinamool Congress before the 2011 Assembly election. After the Supreme Court, in a judgment on August 31, 2016, described the acquisition of land by the state government for the automobile factory illegal, the TMC-led state government immediately took up the matter and decided to return the land to the deprived farmers.

The Singur movement was launched by Mamata Banerjee against the forcible acquisition of farmland by the erstwhile Left Front government in 2006. She stood by the farmers and observed a fast that lasted for 26 days. She broke her fast on December 29, 2006 after being persuaded by the then President APJ Abdul Kalam, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Atal Behari Vajpayee, who wrote letters on December 28, requesting her to give up her fast.

At a joint press conference held on May 18, 2006, the then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Ratan Tata announced that a small project would come up at Singur on 700 acres of land and the ancillary units would come up on another 300 acres of land. On July 17, the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) began to acquire land in Singur, which the local farmers resisted.

Banerjee lent her support to the farmers and the agitation took the shape of a movement. The agitation continued for over a year and finally, the Tatas withdrew themselves from the project on October 3, 2008.

Banerjee was sworn in as the Chief Minister on May 20, 2011. On July 14, 2011, the Bengal Assembly passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill 2011, which received the Governor's approval on July 20.

Banerjee went to Singur and returned the lands to the farmers at a function on September 14, 2016. Agricultural experts were brought in who examined the condition of the soil. A martyrs' column was erected in Singur and the movement has been included in the history syllabus of school students.

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