Friday, September 29, 2023

Kurmis hint supporting Left Front in Bengal on condition of backing ST movement

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | June 01, 2023 11:56 AM

KOLKATA: The CPI(M)-led Left Front is likely to get the support of the Kurmi community in West Bengal who have been agitating for Scheduled Tribe status.

The protesting Kurmi leaders have given subtle hints on this count provided the Left leadership first comes out with a clear stand on the issue of the ongoing community's movement.

On Wednesday night, while state secretary CPI(M)'s student wing SFI Srijan Bhattacharya was travelling in the tribal-dominated Bankura district, his vehicle was stopped by the agitating Kurmi leaders. But Bhattacharya did not face any protest and instead the protesting Kurmi leaders pleaded for a discussion with the young student leader.

After the latter agreed, the agitating community leaders first explained to him about the details of the reasons for the agitation and then asked him about his party's stand on the ongoing movement. Thereafter Bhattacharya was heard assuring the Kurmi leaders of taking up the matter with his higher leadership, including the CPI(M) state secretary Md Salim and the Left Front chairman in West Bengal Biman Bose in the matter. He also advised the Kurmi leaders to submit a detailed deputation to the Left Front chairman, so that the matter can be discussed with experts concerned.

At the same time, Bhattacharya also assured the agitating leaders that the left parties fully acknowledge their rights to peaceful movement in the matter.

"Our party will protest every time there is an attempt by the administration to use force to silence the right to a peaceful movement on any issue. Our leadership had already made its stand clear in the matter. As regards to your demand on scheduled tribe status I am right now not in a position to announce a specific stand of my party in the matter. But surely I will take up the matter with my higher leadership," Bhattacharya was heard telling Kurmi leader Krishnapada Mahato.

Later, Mahato told newspersons that he had explained Bhattacharya about the justification of the movement of the community. "He has assured us of taking up the matter with his higher leadership. Now let us see what they say in the next stage," Mahato added.

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