Home » West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 | From land movement to industry, Singur’s resistance has come to the fore.

West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 | From land movement to industry, Singur’s resistance has come to the fore.

The confrontation between the Trinamool-BJP in the Hooghly belt, the Leftists revived the former CM’s slogan, pushing for development.

A pile of drain pipes surrounded the farm for a good potato crop is built on a 997-acre plot in Singur where Tata Motors’ Nano factory once stood.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2016, it is almost impossible to trace the factory structure from a controlled explosion. The Left Front government ruled on land acquisition and in September 2016, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee returned the land. Farmers, with a symbolic sowing of mustard.

Five years later, with the promise of industry on the lips of all political parties contesting the assembly elections, including the Trinamool Congress, life in Singur has changed completely. People living in any other constituency in West Bengal have not seen so many cycles as there have been oscillations between agriculture and industry, hope and despair, resistance and victory in Singur in the last 15 years.

Prior to the elections to be held in Singur on April 10, farmers are busy filling the ubiquitous pink sacks with the harvested potato crop at the erstwhile factory site. Each sack contains 50 kilos of tubers, which will earn them anything between the 280 and kil 330.

The 75-year-old farmer Bharatchandra Das, who opposed the takeover and could not do farming for 14 years until 2020, means little by little of elections. “We’re used to politics,” he said.

Mr. Das and other farmers have invested thousands of rupees to make their land eligible due to concrete and mortar in the soil. Many plots remain to be leveled or cleared of wild plants.

In Bengal, landholding is generally small, and plots on the factory site have title and mapping issues.

Cross current

The 89-year-old Trinamool veteran Rabindranath Bhattacharya, one of the most respected and credible leaders in the fight against land acquisition, has also caused discomfort among the people of Singur after he joined the BJP.

Mastermosai (Teachers), as they are called, were ready to retire, but are now contesting against the party that elected them to the state assembly four times in a row. Pitching for industry, he said, “Land movement was not against industry but against land grab by force. If I am voted out, I will insist on 650 acres of Tata land for the industry. ”

When Trinamool Congress fielded Becharam Manna, another prominent face of Singram movement Mastermosai Joined the BJP, which nominated him from Singur. However, due to the protests, BJP workers protested that a senior Trinamool leader was favored rather than a party worker.

Struggling with the rift within the party, the BJP’s campaign is yet to be contested. Mastermosai Voters said “are socially and politically aware” and will receive his blessing for a fifth term.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had a lead of over 10,000 votes in this assembly constituency, but on the rest of the week of the voting week, the party has a silent presence. The posters of Bacharam Manna with TMC flag are on every nook.

“Besharam Manna is a very good organizer despite his flaws,” a local admitted.

Across the divide

The exit of Tata Motors from West Bengal in 2008 gave the impression that the political environment in the state was not conducive to industrial development.

Nearing the end of his ten-year rule, the Chief Minister announced an agro-industrial park at Singur on the nearly 30 acres of land acquired for the small car project. With this announcement, the Trinamool Congress, which was forcibly brought to power in 2011 after the agitation against land acquisition, has also taken a pro-industry turn.

The Left, Congress, ISF-led Samyukta Morcha has fielded the young SFI leader Srijan Bhattacharya in Singur. Beginning his campaign, Mr. Bhattacharya revived the slogan of former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya,Agriculture Amer Mural, Crafts Amer Bhobhishott. (Agriculture is our foundation, industry is our future) ”.

Visited the constituency on a motorcycle with supporters, greeted the 27-year-old and waved to the people. The strong political divide demanded his support for the young CPI-M candidate to reach out to Mannanjan Malik. During the violent agitation in December 2006, Mr. Malik’s daughter Tapasi was brutally murdered and two Left members were convicted for the incident.

“In Singur it was never about agriculture versus industry; It was about industry that could be built on the success of agriculture. When the Left government started a pilot project in Singur after the 2006 assembly election victory, the intention was correct but not implementation, ”said Mr. Bhattacharya. He said, “Land for industry has to be acquired in consensus with the farmers.”

In the absence of consensus, the farmers damaged it.

Bharatchandra Das said, “First, the CPI (M) cadres threatened us and then the police beat us up and locked us up.”

In 14 years, not only has the site of Tata Motors’ small car factory changed, so have the hopes and aspirations of the people. One farmer said, “We do not want divisive politics.”


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