Farmers’ unions call strike against ‘insensitive’ govt

The peasants’ organisations of the four Left parties have termed the Mamata Banerjee government as being “insensitive to the plight of farmers”.

Written by RAJIB CHATTERJEE | Kolkata | Published: February 22, 2012 4:25:42 am

The peasants’ organisations of the four Left parties have termed the Mamata Banerjee government as being “insensitive to the plight of farmers” and have decided to mobilise them to launch a campaign against the government. The West Bengal government is already under fire from the peasants’ community for failing to procure paddy at minimum support price and provide jobs under the MNREGS scheme.

The CPM’s peasants’ wing Paschimbanga Pradeshik Krishak Sabha has engaged two organisations to find out the reasons that forced 28 farmers to commit suicides.

“The Chief Minister keeps saying that the farmers have committed suicide because of reasons not related to the distress sale of paddy and mounting debt. We would prove this lie with statistics. This is why we have engaged two organisations to make reports on suicidal deaths of the farmers,” Madan Ghosh,CPM state secretariat member and president of the Paschimbango Pradeshik Krishak Sabha,said on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference,he said the farmers would demonstrate in front of the Block Development Officers (BDOs) and Sub Divisional Officers (SDOs) across the districts for 10 days starting from February 1,demanding procurement of paddy at minimum support price.

Following a meeting on January 26,the peasants’ wings of the four Left parties have called a strike in rural Bengal on 28 February. Incidentally,the Left trade unions have jointly called a general strike on the same day.

The farmers,who are clamouring for the sale of paddy at minimum support price fixed by the state government,would express solidarity at the workers who have called the strike,he said.

“Because of the faulty policy of the state and the Central governments,about 28 farmers have committed suicide in West Bengal,” Ghosh said and added that the Left peasants’ organisations would welcome if the farmers’ wing of the Congress,which has expressed concern over suicides by farmers,gives a call for a joint movement.

“We are ready to launch a joint movement if farmers’ organisation of the Congress expresses solidarity with our demand,but no such proposal has come so far,” Ghosh said.

Ghosh also sent a strong rejoinder to the Chief Minister’s claim that over 350 farmers had committed suicide between 2008 and 2010 when the Left Front was in power. “The party (Trinamool) had posted cadres in each graveyard and crematorium when it was in Opposition. Would they have launched the movement if they received such a report?” he asked.

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