Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister
Mamata Banerjee today denied reports about farmers` suicide in
the state, a day after CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat
held the Trinamool Congress-led government responsible for the
``Twelve persons died due to some disease and they
were not connected to farming, while reports said that some
others took heavy loans from banks for personal purposes,``
Banerjee told a Panchayatiraj Sammelan at the Netaji Indoor
Challenging the CPI(M) for spreading canards against
her government, the chief minister claimed that 199 farmers
had been killed by the Left Front while it was in power.
``You should be ashamed of the atrocities committed
during your rule on the farmers. You killed farmers, looted
them, snatched their produce and drove them out of their
fields. We have not forgotten the atrocities on them,`` she
``To safeguard the farmers` interests, I went on a
26-day fasting in the city in 2006, while farmland was being
forcibly acquired. I know farmers` agony,`` Banerjee said.
She said her government during the seven-month rule
introduced Kisan Card and the farmers` insurance scheme and
denied the CPI(M)`s charge that she had kept quiet while the
fertiliser price was decontrolled.
Further to her defence, she said she was instrumental
in resisting the Centre`s move to raise prices of petroleum
products and FDI entry in the retail sector.
Karat had yesterday blamed the policy of the present
state government for the suicide of "at least 21 farmers in
West Bengal in recent weeks".
``If you don`t intervene to ensure that farmers get
fair or minimum price for procurement and if you don`t take
adequate steps to alleviate their indebtedness, this will
happen,`` Karat told reporters yesterday.