West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today remembered the martyrs of the 1959 ‘Khadya Andolan’ and said her government was providing food security to almost 90 per cent of the states population through the ‘Khadya Sathi’ scheme.
“Remembering the martyrs of 1959 Khadya Andolan. In Bangla, we provide food security to 90% (8.59 crore) of the state’s people through the Khadya Sathi scheme under which food grains at Rs 2 per kilogramme or half the market rate are provided to the beneficiaries,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle.
West Bengal witnessed a mass movement in the late 1958 by the then undivided CPI and other left groups protesting against the food crisis. The movement for food (Khadya Andolon) reached its peak in August 1959.
On this day the same year, several demonstrators, including farmers and women, were killed in baton charge during a protest rally on the issue.
Banerjee said that special assistance was also being given to the people of once Maoist-hit Jangalmahal, hill areas, cyclone ‘Aila’ affected region and Singur.
At Singur in Hooghly district, agricultural land was forcibly acquired from unwilling farmers by the previous Left Front government in 2006 and offered it to the Tatas to build a ‘Nano’ car plant. The entire land was, however, returned to the present government for their distribution among farmers by the Supreme Court in 2016.
“We also provide rice and wheat through PDS to the families of tea garden workers and to the Toto tribe in north Bengal,” she said.