Peasants' Strike on 4th January in West Bengal
Peasants' unrest in West Bengal has begun to express through demonstrations, spontaneous outbursts. Peasants are not getting remunerative prices for their products, particularly in paddy, jute and potato, three main produces of the state. Jute growers have been forced to sell their produces in much lower price than the MSP declared by Central Government. Now it is the turn of the paddy growers. The State Government agencies, despite tall claims, have not geared up for collection from the peasants. The price of paddy has come down to a disgraceful low and the middlemen are taking advantage of the situation. Distress sale has become prevalent in most of the districts. On the other hand, the price of fertilizers has sky rocketed in recent months. The peasantry in the state has not witnessed such a situation in last three decades of Left Front Government. The resultant fall out is spate of peasants' suicides.
The situation has taken grave turn with rural developmental programmes have come to a virtual standstill. West Bengal has shown a drastic decline in NREGA workdays in last six months of TMC Government.
In many places, the peasants have burnt their produces in protest. Many protests, blockades have taken place in markets. Left peasants' organizations have taken the initiative and organized protests have taken place. Thousands of farmers have come out in the streets and blocked highways on 24 to 28th December. In Burdwan district, peasants' protest took place in more than 40 spots. In Bankura, protests and rasta roko took place in all 23 blocks. Similar protests took place in Purulia, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, North 24Parganas, West Midnapore and East Midnapore.
On top of this, Left peasant organizations have called for a strike in agricultural work on 4th. January. On that day, the peasants, agricultural workers will cease to work in fields. All activities related with agriculture in rural areas will be stopped in protest. Massive campaign has started with enthusiastic response from the peasants who have begun to feel the negative consequences of the so-called 'change' in the state.
Left trade unions including CITU, AITUC, TUCC, UTUC, BEFI, 12th July Committee have supported the struggle of the peasants and have called upon trade union activists to actively mobilize support in the rural areas.