Kolkata: Creation of land banks, measures for land reforms and industrialisation will feature prominently in the election manifesto of West Bengal's ruling Left Front for the April-May assembly elections, according to a senior leader of one of the LF partners.
"We are giving priority to land reforms and distribution of land to landless farmers and tillers. We had started the process of land reforms way back in 1977 when the Left Front came to power. We had done a lot on the issue of land reforms but a few things are yet to be done and it needs to completed. We will give special emphasis on agricultural issues," the leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IANS.
The land reform measures taken up by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front in 1977, when it came to power in the state, cemented the base for the combine's uninterrupted 34 years of rule. Lakhs of landless farmers and tillers were given land as part of the reforms and a land ceiling was imposed to stop accumulation of surplus land.
"We are also giving emphasis on the issue of industrialisation as there cannot be complete development of a state or country without industry. But we have to be very careful while taking up the issue of industrialisation. We have to take the people along with us on this issue. The manifesto will also feature the process and measures to take up industrialisation," said the Left Front leader.
The Left Front's industrialisation process received a severe blow during the opposition Trinamool Congress-led anti-land acquisition movements in Nandigram of East Midnapore and Singur in Hooghly districts.
The agitations reversed the state's electoral script.
The Left Front, which has been winning all elections since 1977, was battered in the 2009 Lok Sabha and last year's civic polls, besides losing a series of assembly by-elections.
"The manifesto will also give a clear picture of our plans and procedure for creating a land bank. We are also giving emphasis on the education sector and the IT sector," said the Left Front leader.
The opposition has gone hammer and tongs against the Left Front saying it has failed to create a proper land bank despite being in saddle for over three decades.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has tried to cause further embarrassment to the LF by claiming that within her short stint she has succeeded in setting up a land bank with the vacant land