People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 18, 2007
Kisans Of East Midnapore Receive Patta Rights
Pattas being distributed to the poor in Khejuri
GRANTING of patta rights has been a basic component of the policy of re-distributive land reforms of the Bengal Left Front government. Through allocation of patta rights, the rural poor receive legal right over the plots of land they plough. The land reforms drive has resulted in 78 per cent of the agricultural land in Bengal coming to rest with the rural poor and the marginal farmers. The change has acted to bring in a political transformation in the countryside with elements of reaction and the patrons in the rightist political parties being pushed on the back foot.
Prior to addressing the massive rally at Khejuri, Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee distributed patta rights of ceiling-surplus khas land measuring 698.61 acres to 9291 poor kisans over 121 mouzas belonging to five Panchayat Samities of Midnapore east.
In all 5040 patta were distributed with 4251 kisans receiving joint patta. Buddhadeb pointed out that the granting of the patta right was a direct outcome of long heritage of the kisan movement carried out in Bengal especially during the late 1960s when two United Front governments stayed in office for brief periods in succession. There were 1621 SC and 640 ST beneficiaries of the granting of patta right.
Before Midnapore was divided into two districts, the total parcel of vested land was 8727 acres. Of this, 5810 acres of land has already been redistributed. Land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah (who also addressed later the Khejuri rally) said that the process of distribution of patta was result of the kisan struggles and movements. Panchayat minister Dr Surjya Kanata Mishra said that land reform was a primary step towards development and that the Bengal Left Front government ‘has been successful in organising this process.’ (B P)