Mamata promises to return farm land after SC verdict

Days after farmers in Singur showed resentment, West Bengal's chief minister Mamata Banerjee tried to pacify them, promising their land will be returned after the Supreme Court's verdict in the case. "We started working on Singur immediately after assuming power. The land is with us now. It will be returned after the case is over," she said on Friday.

Immediately after coming to power, the Trinamool Congress-led government passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, to vest the entire 997 acres — including the abandoned factory sheds and other structures of Tata Motors and its vendors — with itself. The Act was later challenged by Tata motors in the Calcutta High Court. In a setback to the state government, the High Court held the act as unconstitutional. The state government later moved the Supreme Court, which stayed the Calcutta High Court judgment striking down the Singur Land Act.

Returning land to unwilling farmers at Singur was the pre-electoral agenda and a major part of the electoral campaign of Mamata Banerjee. "We are paying R2,000 per month to almost 3,600 families in Singur. We will continue to pay them this amount till they get their lands back. We are also providing them with 16 kg rice per month at a nominal rate of R2 per kg," Banerjee said.

The CM decided to hold a district administration meeting in Singur on Friday after a section of land-losers showed their resentment against Becharam Manna, the newly appointed minister of state for agriculture.

Meanwhile, Rabindranath Bhattacharjee, MLA from Singur and former agriculture minister, said that he will resign. Bhattacharjee was dumped from the post of agriculture minister after the recent reshuffle and Manna—another leader from Singur—was promoted.

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