Kolkata, Jun 28: The West Bengal government on Wednesday doubled the monthly allowance for those farmers in Singur who did not accept compensation in lieu of parting with their plot for the Tatas' car factory. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at the state Secretariat on Wednesday that the 'unwilling' farmers and landless labourers in Singur would be given Rs 2,000 per month, as against Rs 1,000 as was announced previously, from Jul 1 onwards. She said the decision was taken keeping in view the rising prices of everyday essentials.
The announcement clearly showed that the state government was not giving up it stand of siding with the farmers despite the Calcutta High Court's quashing its bill last week. The state will assist them till their land is returned, said Banerjee.
The chief minister had held a meeting with her senior cabinet colleagues, party members and associations that had sided her during the anti-land acquisition movement. Members of the Krishi Jomi Jibon-O-Jibika Raksha Committee, which had spearheaded the Singur agitation, were also present on the occasion. The CM had reportedly requested the committee to revive the agitation to convey a message that it did not die out.
Agriculture minister and Singur MLA Rabindranath Bhattacharya said the verdict had left the unwilling farmers a lot in despair. He said some of the farmers were repenting the decision of not accepting compensation and it was necessary for the government to stand by them. The minister had requested the CM to increase the monthly amount.
The Trinamool Congress was planning to organise a rally in Singur on Saturday over the issue and party sources believed the decision to increase the monthly allowance would make the rally successful. The unwilling farmers in Singur welcomed the state government's move, it is learnt.