People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 38

September 28 , 2008


Over 96% Affected Singur Farmers Accept New Compensation Offer

B Prasant

A serpentine queue is in slow, impatient progress before the different designated offices of the Bengal Left Front government in the district of Hooghly. The men and women, the occasional child loitering around his or her parents, are in line to receive the fresh compensation package of substantial nature announced by Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. They are the proverbial ‘unwilling farmers’ -- of Mamata yore, and of Raj Bhavan statement ‘fame’.

In all more than 96 per cent of the people of Singur affected by the land acquisition have agreed with the new rehabcompac ‘on offer’ from the Bengal Left Front government. Cheques were not being issued at the time we visited on September 22, for a large number of those in line simply because it was well past quite late in the evening, and the counter-personnel were just suffering from sheer fatigue having started work from early in the day.

Elsewhere, certainly, it is not that the Trinamul-Maoist-SUCI goons are willing to take the dramatic turn of events lying down. Threats – armed threats in most instances - are in regular issue in the various villages around Singur – threats, however, that are now-a-days just ignored, as the number of ‘unwilling farmers’ wound down dramatically.

Mamata Banarjee, now doggedly obsessive about figures, keeps insisting that ‘we need 400 acres.’ She has also called for the imposition of the President’s Rule in Bengal. We can sympathise with how desperate this anti-people bunch of men and women must feel in this kind of changed state of affairs.

Biman Basu, chairman Bengal Left Front, spoke the blunt truth while in Purulia on September 22. The ‘Trinamul Congress has left no stone unturned to foil the process of industrialisation in Bengal – Singur is just one case in point, and it shows the intensity of the anti-people, and ultimately and completely counterproductive devilry of Mamata Banerjee and her hirelings.’

Buddhadeb has, may be for the tenth time, appealed to the ‘good intentions’ of the Bengal opposition to cooperate with the going online early of the Singur small car project, and to accept and acknowledge the latest rehabcompac offered. If things become the victim of delay, said Buddhadeb, there ‘is a fear that the entrepreneurs may well decide to take their business elsewhere, to other states.’

The task of the day would be for all to ensure that the project along with the ancillary units gets going in a peaceful ambience, and allow the factory to go through its final phase for the interest of the people of Singur, of Hooghly, and, indeed, of Bengal itself. The latest offer was turned down by Mamata and her ‘merry men’ in the most unseemly language imaginable. Raj Bhavan would not intervene.

Vacillation has been the hallmark of Pradesh Congress, and the Singur case was no exception. External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee talks about the ‘utter futility of trying to turn the wheel of history back by blocking industrialisation.’

Pradesh Congress chief P R Dasmunshi speaks of the ‘vagueness’ of the ‘various statements’ issued on Singur, without mentioning the governor in specification. The impasse goes on. The Singur people are more enraged than unhappy.


That Trinamul Congress goondas sneaked inside the Singur motor vehicles factory and severely beat up two security guards in the dark of the night of September 22, 2008 who were rushed to a hospital for treatment. This dastardly attack has been condemned strongly by the Bengal Left Front. Biman Basu has called the assault ‘craven and conspiratorial.’

Basu asserted that this attack points to a larger and wily scheme afloat to sabotage the sincere efforts of the Bengal Left Front government to ensure the re-commencement of the working of the Singur motor vehicles factory. A special package has already been announced for the people of Singur by way of a sustainable financial and economic rehabilitation. The package works out to the interests of all concerned – the landowners, the peasants, the share-croppers, and the agricultural labourers.

Basu is of the firm view that while there is a determination in the drive of the Bengal LF government to maintain and secure the interest of both agriculture and of agriculturists, the effort is faced with a rejection of the package on irrational grounds by the Trinamul Congress and its cohorts for the simple reason that they would like to see the Singur project scuttled.

The Trinamul Congress had earlier during their so-called dharna and satyagraha, threatened the employees of the factory with dire consequences. The entrepreneurs chose to close the factory down temporarily. The fresh assaults are clear indicators of the design the Trinamul Congress and its gangsters have in mind in terms of permanently closing down the factory, and at the same time to terrorise the people of Singur.

Biman Basu further said that while in public the Trinamul Congress has gone on record to say that they are engaged in organising a peaceful satyagraha, in practice, the attacks earlier and right now would simply prove if nothing else then the discordance of the Trinamul Congress with the process of development of Bengal. They do not want an increase in employment through a process of pro-people industrialisation. They would not care to see a secure future for the generations to come in Bengal.


The Bengal Left Front has appealed to the people of the state to come forward and to foil the conspiracy that is designated to harm Bengal’s interests. The LF also called on the mass of the people to organise unified protests against all acts of commission and mischief like the latest instance of sneak attack.

Biman Basu said that ‘at this point of time it devolves on the people of Singur to decide whether there will be a motor vehicles project at Singur, or not.’ The Left Front in the meanwhile has called upon the state government to take all necessary steps to keep the law-and-order situation intact at Singur as elsewhere in Bengal, to maintain a peaceful setting, and to ensure that work resumes at the motor vehicles factory at Singur.