Buddha slams Mamata government for farmer suicides

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Rishra (West Bengal): Calling for a “new agricultural movement” in the wake of the ongoing farmer suicides in the state, former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Sunday said the Mamata regime’s sole target was to change all the pro-people policies of the Left Front government.

“The main focus of this government is to change all the pro-people policies of the previous Left Front government. What was wrong in the education policies of the previous government? After coming to power they nullified all the laws of the education system. They want the government to decide the do’s and don’t’s,” he said.

“The elected representatives of the universities will not have any say in the functioning of the universities. Only the MLAs and MPs of Trinamool Congress have their say on each and every issue,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member said at a rally in this Hooghly district town.

The almost daily reports of farmer suicides is the latest political flashpoint in West Bengal. While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says the suicides are not linked to farm debts, both the opposition and estranged ally Congress are attacking her government for the deaths.

Bhattacharjee criticised the state government for overlooking the interests of the farmers which in turn has triggered farmer suicides.

“This is a state that has a glorious history of farmer movement. The farmers are not getting prices for their paddy and other agricultural products. We had given land to landless farmers and now they (the big landowners) are trying to grab that land. The farmers need to stand up and we need to prepare for a new agricultural movement in the state,” he said.

Bhattacharjee slammed Banerjee for stating that farmers have died due to personal debts.

“The farmers of the state are going through a tough situation. There are reports of suicide everyday. And the government is saying that these suicides are not linked to agricultural debts,” he said.

The former chief minister also questioned the way the state government is planning to run the panchayats by using the administrative officials rather than the elected representatives.

“We had created these panchayats so that the village people can plan and implement polices to develop their own villages. Now they (the Trinamool regime) are planning to run the panchayats by using the administrative officials. This is the reason the rural people are not getting jobs under the rural employment act,” he said.