(With additional inputs) Kolkata, Sep 25 (PTI) The Left Front and Congress Friday held protests across West Bengal as part of the nationwide stir demanding withdrawal of the 'anti-people' farm sector reform bills passed in the Parliament.
The ruling TMC in Bengal also took out rallies in various parts of the state and held a sit-in in the city demanding that the 'anti-farmer' bill be scrapped.
The Left Front and Congress took out a joint rally in Kolkata. The procession was led by Left Front chairman Biman Bose and Leader of the Opposition in the state and senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan, Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya and CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty.
'This black law has to be withdrawn. We will never accept it. It is against the interest of farmers. The BJP government is only interested in ensuring profit margins for big corporate houses,' Chakraborty said.
The rally, which covered over 5 km from Esplanade to Shyambazar, also saw Congress activists burning copies of the legislations and shouting slogans against the BJP government.
Bhattacharya, who is Rajya Sabha MP, said, 'The anti- farmer bills if brought into effect will not spare any small and marginal farmer including those in Bengal.' CPI(M) farmers wing 'Sara Bharat Krishak Sabha' (All India Farmer Sabha) and those of other Left partners such as CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP took out rallies in the districts and blocked roads in various parts of the state.
Participants in the processions at some places carried vegetables and agricultural produce and shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
The farmers' and trade union wings of Left parties also the took out processions in the rural belts of Hooghly, Murshidabad, North 24 Parganas, Bankura and Nadia districts among others.
The LF rallies are part of the country-wide protests by 'Sara Bharat Krishak Sangharsha Samannoy Committee', (All India Farmers Protest Coordination Committee) which comprises the Krisshak Sabha, CPI-M's farmers wing, against the legislations.
The three bills passed by Parliament are the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The Congress, along with many other opposition parties has claimed that the bills will harm the interest of farmers and benefit corporates, a claim denied by the NDA government. The Centre has asserted that the proposed laws will be beneficial for farmers and increase their income.
The TMC farmers' wing also took out protest rallies across the state on Friday. The party held a sit-in near the Gandhi statue in the city.
Describing the farm sector reform bills as the 'death knell' for farmers and agricultural workers of the country, hundreds of activists of the TMC's 'Kisaan Khet Mazdoor' (farmers and farm labourers) cell organized protest marches in various parts of the state. The activists shouted slogans and burnt copies of the bill.
In Kolkata, farmers affiliated to TMC organized a protest rally displaying their produce like vegetables and food grains and vowed not to allow coporates enter the agri retail chain in the state. PTI SUS PNT KK KK KK