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CPI(M) dares Mamata to stop BJP's December 'rath yatra'

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

The CPI(M) Thursday dared West Bengal to prove her "anti-BJP credentials" by stalling the saffron party's proposed 'rath yatra' in the state next month.

CPI(M) politburo Surya Kanta Mishra alleged that the proposed rath yatra is actually "vote yatra" which is being organised to polarise the people of the state on communal lines.

"Both TMC and BJP are engaged in a mock fight to fool the masses. If she (Mamata Banerjee) has the guts, let her stop the rath yatra and arrest them as did in (during L K Advani's rath yatra in 1990)," Mishra said while addressing a farmers' rally in Kolkata.

In 1990, Lalu Prasad Yadav, the then of Bihar, had arrested BJP leader L K Advani at Samastipur during the latter's rath yatra to Ayodhya.

The BJP, which has set a target of winning 22 seats in West Bengal, is scheduled to start three rath yatras in Bengal beginning December 7 from district covering all the 42 seats of the state.

"If you observe the decisions and statements made by both Banerjee and Prime Narendra Modi, you will find similarity in various aspects. Actually, both parties are two sides of the same coin. They are not serious but only want to divide the people on religious lines and reap political benefits out of it," Mihsra said.

On Thursday, over 40,000 farmers from various parts of the state converged on the state capital demanding loan waiver and other sops.

Around 10,000 farmers and agricultural workers of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), the CPI(M)'s farmers wing, on Wednesday kick-started the 'Singur to Raj Bhavan' march, to highlight the "series of crisis" engulfing the farm sector in

said the march has been organised to voice farmers' demands and proper implementation of the MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act).

Mishra said the should immediately take steps to waive agricultural loans of the farmers.

"We want industry and employment for the youths of our state. We have seen our going abroad to attract investments. We would like to know the amount of investments and status of projects in Bengal during the past seven years," he said.

The farmers have also been demanding an end to discrimination among Singur's farmers, peasant and sharecroppers in providing government welfare schemes and implementation of the M S Swaminathan Commission's recommendations.

According to CPI(M) sources, the AIKS chose Singur as the starting point of the programme because people of Bengal have understood "how they were misguided by the then opposition TMC against the land acquisition for industry".

Singur holds a special place in the political landscape of Bengal. Land acquisition for Tata Nano in Singur was a political flash-point in the state for a few years beginning 2006.

The anti-land acquisition protests spearheaded by the then opposition has been regarded as one of the main reasons behind the fall of the 34-year-old Left Front government in 2011.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 20:15 IST