CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member, Brinda Karat condemned the Narendra Modi Government for uprooting hundreds of farmers from Punjab and Haryana. These farmers had settled in Kutch after the Indo-Pak war of 1965. They had purchased barren land in the arid Kutch region in response to the call given by the late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who wanted to make the international border near Kutch habitable. Now after working on this land for almost five decades and turning it cultivable they are being displaced. Most of them are cotton growers. The Gujarat government has put a ‘freeze’ on their land-holdings  by invoking the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1958, terming them as pravasi (outsiders) preventing these farmers from selling, buying or taking any loan or subsidy on their land.  Many of these farmers had sold all their belongings in Punjab to purchase land in Kutch. Gujarat government has already put a freeze on over 20,000 acres of land.

She averred that the “The man who is aspiring to become the Prime Minister is behaving in such a sectarian manner.” She assured the CPI(M)’s full support to the displaced farmers.
Brinda was speaking at a meeting organized by the daily Desh Sewak in Chandigarh to observe the fifth death anniversary of former CPI(M) General Secretary, Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet on August 1. The Bhakna Bhawan, the venue of the meeting was jampacked.
Brinda said that the sacrifices and contributions of Com. Surjeet are very inspiring for the present generation. She recalled how as a young boy of 16 years he climbed atop the court at Hoshiparur, brought down the Union Jack and unfurled the Tricolour amid firing of bullets. After his arrest, when he was asked his name in the court, he replied that his name was London Tod Singh meaning one who will break London. Brinda also recollected his contribution to the building of the Communist Party and to the kisan movement.
The Desh Sewak had brought out a special supplement to on the occasion to which Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechuri, Com Charan Singh Virdi amongst others were contributors.
Among the others who spoke at the meeting were former Union Minister, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, CPI State Secretary Bant Brar, CPI leader Joginder Dayal, CPI(M) State Secretariat members Vijay Mishra and Com. Raghunath Singh.  Chief Editor of Desh Sewak Jaspal Singh and MLA Pargat Singh were also present on the occasion.
August 3, 2013