Saturday, November 22, 2014


Left-Farmers’ Organizations in West Bengal have called for “Gram-Bandh” and will be organizing massive agitation movement on 26th November in each village, throughout the state of West Bengal in protest of anti-people policies adopted by both BJP-led Central and TMC-led State Governments; particularly in demand for increasing price of rice and continuation of MGNREGA, the rural job generating scheme. Announcement of this Gram-Bandh and agitation-movement has been done by Madan Ghosh on Saturday (15th November), on behalf of different Left-farmers’ organizations.

Madan Gosh said that on 26th November, agriculture-based poor villagers will observe “Gram-Bandh” and organize massive agitation-movement in front of office of the Local-Governments and administrations. But he has announced that communication system will not be disturbed, busses will be allowed to move freely; schools & colleges will remain open. He said that only agriculture-based works will be stalled on that day as a mark of protest.

In this connection it is to be mentioned that the TMC-led State Government has fixed bonus on the price of Rice @15 pice/Kg, i.e. @Rs.15/-/ Quintal only; but on the other hand the neighboring states have increase the bonus amount of rice @Rs.100/ to Rs.200/- per quintal. Madhya Pradesh State has paid the bonus @Rs.300/- per quintal. We may remind that the Left-Front Government of West Bengal had paid the bonus @Rs.100/- per quintal of rice four years back. Farmers’ Organizations have expressed their concern that TMC Government has announced the bonus @Rs.15/ per quintal of rice, without considering the sky-rocketing price rise. They have raised question- whether Government is giving them alms/ dole! They are not begging; it is their legitimate right. They have demanded bonus @Rs.200/- per quintal of rice. Base price of rice was @Rs.1310/- per quintal during last year, but State Govt. has increase Rs.50/-per quintal only for this year, i.e. at present total price of rice per quintal is @Rs.1360/- only; which is much below the agricultural production cost of rice. The TMC-Government is totally betraying farmers. As a result, it is apprehended that rice may be sent to nearby states for sell. They have demanded that Government should have established rice-procuring centers in each locality; so that farmers can sell out their agricultural products in actual and desirable price and can minimize their transport time and cost.

Further, BJP-led Central and TMC-led State Governments have jointly made a conspiracy to cut off the opportunity of 100-days MNREGA programme for marginal poor people of the rural villages. Central Government has planned to cut off the scheme and confined the REGA scheme within 200 back-ward Blocks only. The TMC- Government has also joined hands with BJP-Led Central Government and has already published a list of 123 Blocks; where only REGA scheme will be implemented. Both the Central and State Governments have deliberately planning to divide village people in different ways. Central Government has not only slashed the fund allocation for the scheme, but they have also reduced the percentage of fund allocated for working-days and daily wages. Ratio between working-days and materials has been reduced from 60:40 to 51:49; and as a result amount of working-days (daily-wages) will be reduced drastically and poor people will be suffered severely.

Moreover, Government has reduced allocation of funds for the social projects like- Farmers’ Pension, Old-age Pension, Widow Pension etc. Hostel Grants for SC and ST students are due since January 2014. It has been learnt that Tista irrigation project is going to be stopped by the State Government; so that farmers will be suffered. Again, about 1 lakh 90 thousand seats are lying vacant under the state Government. Left-Farmers’ Organizations have demanded that both the Central and State Governments have to solve all above mentioned problems immediately. They have given the call of “Gram-Bandh” in each village throughout the state on November 26 to voice against bulldozing of the poor people

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