NATIONAL

Singur farmers appeal to Mamata to end strike

Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee on the ninth day of her hunger strike in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee on the ninth day of her hunger strike in Kolkata on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Photo: Sushanta Patronobish



Special Correspondent

"We are satisfied with the West Bengal Government's compensation"



"If you continue your hunger strike, it will only worsen our hurt"For whom is she on a hunger strike, asks CPI(M)Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat



Kolkata: Many farmers, who handed over their lands for the setting up of a car manufacturing plant at Singur, on Tuesday appealed to Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee to end her hunger strike against taking over of farmland.

They assembled near the manch where Ms. Banerjee is on fast. They urged her to work towards ensuring them a better future.

The farmers from different villages in Singur, who assembled near the fasting venue, said in an open letter to Ms. Banerjee that they "were satisfied with the financial compensation provided [to them] by the State Government for the land [they had] handed over voluntarily."

Ms. Banerjee's fast entered its ninth day.

"If you continue your hunger strike, it will only worsen our hurt. If your protests are aimed at ensuring our well-being, we request you to call off your hunger strike soon and cooperate towards setting up the Tata Motors project [at Singur]," the letter said.

Mamata firm

Ms. Banerjee, however, maintained that her hunger strike would continue till the Government fulfilled her demand to discontinue land acquisition for the project.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said that representatives of the Tata group were in the city and "work [on the plant] is on." Technical matters related to the setting up of the plant were discussed by officials of the Tata Motors and the State departments concerned.

Governor renews appeal

In a letter to Ms. Banerjee, Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi renewed his appeal to call off her hunger strike. Last week, he went to the manch and made a similar request.

He urged her "to terminate her fast and authorise her representative to commence dialogue with the Government."

"The Governor has indicated the lines of possible dialogue to the protestors and to the Government and he believes that no harm can possibly come from dialogue, only good." It added that Mr. Gandhi wanted the Trinamool Congress leader and other protestors "to conserve their energy and direct it towards evolving long-term norms for land-use and land conversion in a State where agriculture is paramount and industrialisation is also imperative."

Brinda Karat, member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M), who visited the site where the farmers congregated, questioned the purpose of Ms. Banerjee's hunger strike.

"The main issue is for whom is she on a hunger strike, when the very people she claims to be speaking for say that they have willingly handed over their plots for the project," Ms. Karat said.

She criticised Ms. Banerjee for "politicising" the issue related to "the development of the common people on which all parties should get together and work towards achieving."



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