Indian Agrarian Crisis now moved to www.agrariancrisis.in

Farmer-the most endangered species

Mamta dares Budda on Nandigram issue

Posted by Ramoo on February 5, 2007

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1919728,000…
Arindam Sarkar

Nandigram (West Bengal), February 4, 2007

People of Nandigram gave blood in the freedom struggle and they will give blood again to save the farmlands from being grabbed by the state government said Mamata Banerjee. Addressing her first public meeting after coming out of the nursing home, Mamata paid rich tributes to the people of Nandigram for putting up a strong resistance against forcible acquisition of lands for industries here.

In fact, the atmosphere at Sitananda College grounds at Nandigram was electrifying as Mamata threatened Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee of serious consequences, if he used force to grab lands in this part of Bengal.

Neither the CPI(M) nor the Jamat-e-Ulema-Hind had seen anything like this before here. Braving the scorching sun, more than 1.4 lakh people gathered at Nandigram to see and hear Mamata Banerjee, as she urged them to be united so that they could put up a strong resistance against the CPI(M).

“We will not forget those who gave their lives to protect the lands on January 6 clash at Nandigram. I couldn’t come then as I was in nursing home. Even now I am not fully fit. I have to be operated for stones in my gall bladder. But after the operation I will come again and do meetings in the troubled zones of at Sonachura and Garchakraberia.

And as long as I am alive, CPI(M) will never succeed in taking the lands in Nandigram,” said Mamata amidst cheers from the people, many of whom unable to find space on the ground had stationed themselves on the roof tops, atop coconut, eucalyptus and Krishnachura trees.

At 2.35 pm, as the black Scorpio of the ‘champion of the farmers’ Mamata Banerjee came to the venue, the air was rent with the slogan: Tomar Naam, Amar Naam, Singur Nandigram. And Mamata caught the pulse immediately by saying that Tata and Salim were being pampered by the CPI(M) as they were sponsoring the running of the Marxist party here. “What does the CPI(M) think of themselves? They are taking lands everywhere. They have emerged as the new zamindars of Bengal who are selling off their properties to Tata and Salim. Next time, when the CPI(M) says Jami Chai, Jami Chai, tell them on their face Nai,  Nai. Nandigram will be the Plassey for the Left Front. Nandigram will bring this government down,” Mamata said amidst huge applause.

Talking to the people, Mamata said she would request the Centre to make laws to prevent acquisition of farmlands and set up a commission that would determine where industries could come up. “Let the Centre order land mapping and creation of land bank from where lands could be taken for industries. This will protect the farmlands and homesteads now being grabbed by the Left Front government for SEZ. The state government is violating laws to set up SEZ here,” alleged Mamata.

“The Centre clearly says that it will declare an area ready for SEZ only after the developer furnishes certain details. Such as the land on which the SEZ would come up should be free from encumbrances and there should be no legal complications. Again, it should be a vacant land. I have just pointed out two clauses. Is this government following the rules? They are terrorising the people and fooling the Centre. This should immediately stop,” added Mamata.

She said that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had no understanding of the ground realities and was using the 1894 Land Acquisition Act to forcibly acquire lands from the farmers. However, she said such laws would not help him any more. People of Singur and Nandigram will not allow him to sell lands to Salim and Tata.

“This is not a political movement. This is not a movement for electoral benefits. This is a movement for survival. This is a movement to protect one’s properties against the modern-day pirate dressed in the garb of a bhadralok,” said Mamata hinting at the CM.

Mamata finally said that people of Nandigram would carry on with their movement and resistance until the notification for the acquisition of lands in Nandigram is cancelled. “We will fight till the end. We are ready to use the same tactics the CPI(M) wishes to use. And we will fight till we drive the CPI(M) land-sharks out of Bengal,” said Mamata.

Email Arindam Sarkar: asarkar@hindustantimes.com

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