West Bengal Chief Minster Mamata Banerjee called the protesting farmers at Delhi borders on Friday and assured her complete support for their movement.
Banerjee talked to several agitating farmers over the phone of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O’Brian, who visited the Singhu border. Social activist and Swaraj India party chief Yogendra Yadav was also present while she was speaking with the farmers.
Today, @MamataOfficial sent me on behalf of @AITCofficial to meet farmers protesting at Singhu border. She spoke to multiple groups on the telephone. They expressed gratitude. She confirmed solidarity. Four hours here. I have never ever seen something quite like this.
— Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) December 4, 2020
Talking to the protestors, the TMC supremo reminded them about her 2006 hunger strike in Singur and said, “To protect the interest of the farmers, I had fasted for 26 days. I assure my complete support to your movement.”
“I’ll say to all of you, don’t stop agitating untill the government takes back these black laws,” she added. “Also protest against the Essential Commodities Act. That’s killing common citizens”
Interestingly, 14 years ago on December 4, Banerjee had begun her 26 days hunger strike against the forceful acquisition of farms lands in Singur by the then Left Front government in West Bengal.
Earlier on Friday, the West Bengal Chief Minster revisited the hunger strike days in the context of the ongoing farmers’ protest across the country against the three new farm laws.
Calling the the new laws “draconian” that were “passed without consultation by Centre”, Banerjee alleged that BJP government is selling farmers’ rights to corporate houses now.
Taking to her official Twitter handle, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief said, “14 years ago on 4 Dec 2006, I began my 26-day hunger strike in Kolkata demanding that agricultural land cannot be forcefully acquired. I express my solidarity with all farmers who are protesting against draconian farm bills passed without consultation by Centre #StandWithFarmers.”
Marathon talks between the Centre and the agitating farmer unions on Thursday failed to end the standoff over the new farm laws as the protestors refused to budge on their demands and another round of discussions will be held later in a bid to forge a resolution.
The government side, led by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, said that they were ready to bring some amendments to the laws, but the other side stuck to their demand of repealing the three ”hastily-passed” farm laws, saying there were several loopholes and deficiencies.
Agitating farmers had on Wednesday demanded that the Centre convene a special session of Parliament and repeal the new farm laws as they threatened to block other roads in Delhi and ”take more steps” if it failed to do so.