Millennium Post

Mamata wishes farmers of Bengal on 3rd anniversary of landmark Singur verdict

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sent her best wishes to all the farmers in the country, on the 3rd anniversary of the historic Supreme Court judgment which had declared that the land acquisition in Singur was illegal.

Banerjee tweeted in this regard on Saturday: "On August 31, 2016, the SC in a historic judgment had declared that the land acquisition in Singur was illegal. On the

3rd anniversary of the historic judgment my best wishes to all

the farmers in the country. Agriculture and industry are two petals of a flower and can coexist happily."

The Singur movement, which had been launched by the Chief Minister against the forcible acquisition of farmland by the Left Front government in 2006, was the beginning of the end of LF rule in Bengal. To express her solidarity with the farmers who did not want to give the land, Banerjee had observed a fast that lasted for 26 days.

She broke her fast on December 29 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 the fast.

On May 18, 2006, in a press conference held jointly by the then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Ratan Tata, the latter 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 local farmers resisted. Banerjee lent her support to the farmers and the agitation took the shape of a movement.

Intellectuals like Amlan Dutta and Santosh Bhattacharya, among others, gave their support to Banerjee and opposed the erstwhile state government's proposal to set up an automobile factory on farmland.

The agitation continued for over a year and finally the Tatas withdrew themselves from the project on October 3, 2008.

Returning the land to the unwilling farmers became the slogan of Trinamool Congress before the 2011 Assembly election and Banerjee was subsequently 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 nod on July 20.

Banerjee went to Singur and returned the land to the unwilling farmers at a function. Agricultural experts were brought to the place, who examined the condition of the soil. A martyrs' column has come up in Singur and the movement has been included in the history syllabus of school students.

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