All India Krishak Sabha (AIKS), the peasant wing of the Communist Party of India ( Marxist) on Tuesday held a rally in Kolkata and blamed the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal and the BJP government at the Centre for agrarian distress. The AIKS leaders also raised concern over alleged ‘agrarian suicides’ in the State.
AIKS president Ashok Dhawle while speaking at the event said that the Krishak Sabha members visited Bardhaman and Medinipur and met the family members of farmers who have allegedly died by suicide. Mr. Dhawle said that while the Krishak Sabha has demanded that a minimum support price (MSP) of ₹1000 per quintal be fixed for potatoes in West Bengal whereas West Bengal fixed the MSP at ₹600 and did not buy a single kilogram of potato. According to AIKS leaders most of the farmers who allegedly died were potato farmers.
“An AIKS Central Office Bearers team 18 September visited Bhadurala of Salboni block in West Medinipur district to meet the widows and families of Left martyrs killed by the TMC-Maoist combine, and the families of potato farmers who recently were found dead due to the price crash,” a press statement by AIKS said. Mr. Dhawle also referred to the violence during panchayat polls in the State and said panchayats have become corrupt.
The issue of agrarian distress and death has often been raised by AIKS leaders from West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress government has denied the death of any farmer due to agrarian distress in the State.
AIKS general secretary Vijoo Krishnan raised the issue of MSP support of paddy and said that if the Left Front government can offer ₹2850 per quintal of paddy why is the West Bengal government offering ₹1200 as MSP.
Mr. Krishnan said that both West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are making a mockery of the plight of farmers. AIKS leadership also called for protests across the country outside Raj Bhawans from November 26 to 28, later this year.
Those in distress or having suicidal tendencies could seek help and counselling by calling the State’s health helpline: 2463 7401 / 2463 7432