Purnendu Basu, the state agriculture minister, who at that time used to work independently with Naxal leader Kanu Sanyal, said that he had then considered Mamata Banerjee to be the only leader capable of uplifting the movement against the oppression of the Left Front government on peasants.
Recollecting how the movement had gained momentum, he said that his workers did an assessment was by visiting households in Singur to know their stand on the then Buddhadeb Bhattacharya government’s attitude of grabbing land forcefully.
“Soon after realising that the people want someone to fight against the 34-year-old Left Front government and there was potential for a movement, I approached the Trinamool Congress supremo in her residence at Kalighat and it paved the way to the mass movement under her leadership,” Basu said adding that he had also motivated many of my Left minded friends to be a part of the movement.
Critics used to say that the movement was not necessary, but today’s (Wednesday) judgement has once again proved that the movement led by Banerjee was the need of the time and it had also led to the change of guard in the state and the farmers have now got back their land.
Subrata Mukherjee, the state panchayat minister, had extended all his support to Banerjee in continuing the movement. The veteran leader had gone to the dias of the hunger strike as an INTUC leader when Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee was on hunger strike and initiated a movement against forceful grabbing of land by the erstwhile Left Front government.
After the 10-year long fight, Mukherjee on Wednesday said that many people have to get involved to make a movement bigger. But the most important part of it is its leadership. “Farmers would not have got their rights today (Wednesday) if we all had not had a leader like Mamata Banerjee,” said Mukherjee.
Giving reference of Mahatma Gandhi, Mukherjee said: “Many people had taken part in the movement started by him. But we always take his name whenever we need to talk about those movements.
Similarly, Singur movement would not have reached its peak without Banerjee. She had put her life at risk. They would have killed him. But she continued struggling and fighting even in the toughest situations and brought justice for farmers today (Wednesday).”
“It is one of the biggest movement that the state has ever witnessed and I feel good realising that I had also been a part of the movement led by our present Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” he said adding that he had supported as the movement was taken up to establish rights of the farmers and this is a historical victory for the people of the state.
He has also lauded the steps taken up by Banerjee in supporting families of the unwilling farmers by providing them rice at Rs 2 per kg and Rs 2000 per month. “It helped in motivating farmers to continue the movement,” said Mukherjee.