MLAs trade charges over tea garden deaths

The plight of workers in closed tea gardens of north Bengal was raised in the Assembly here on Tuesday with Left Front legislators demanding an adjournment in the House alleging starvation deaths in these gardens.

The Left Front MLA’s walked out of the House when the adjournment motion was disallowed by Speaker Biman Banerjee. They protested holding up posters asking “why will the workers of tea gardens die of starvation”

Speaking to the journalists later on the Assembly premises, Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra claimed that 120 deaths in the tea gardens of the State had been reported over the past three years.

“The Chief Minister is going to north Bengal several times and so much money is being spent on her events. But she is not saying a word on the tea garden issue,” Dr Mishra said. He added that the quality of rice given to the workers of the closed tea garden was not fit for consumption. Stating that there was only one tea garden closed when the Left Front government demitted office, Dr Mishra said the number increased to 20 during the Trinamool Congress regime.

Reacting to Dr Mishra comments, Food Minister Jyotipriya Mullick said the deaths had nothing to do with starvation. The Minister said along with rice 125 gram sugar per person per week kerosene oil was given to the workers of the closed tea garden. Mr. Mullick said the State government had appointed three food inspectors for the tea gardens of north Bengal who sent a weekly report to the Food and Supplies department. “The deaths in tea garden used to occur in the past. The situation has changed now but more change is required,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chaterjee said. He said the situation in the tea gardens had worsened in the 34 years of the Left Front government and they had no right to talk on the issue.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 2:55:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/mlas-trade-charges-over-tea-garden-deaths/article6168896.ece

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