Deepa Das Munshi
Raiganj, Nov. 1: The families of 80-odd farmers in Panishala would meet and verbally assure Deepa Das Munshi tomorrow of their willingness to give land for the AIIMS-like hospital when the MP makes her first visit to her constituency as a minister of state.
Liyakat Ali, the local Congress leader and former panchayat samity sabhapati, said today that there were about 80 land owners in Panishala, in Deepa’s constituency Raiganj, who were willing to give land. “We have told all of them about the programme tomorrow and they are eager to come for the felicitation (of the minister),” he said.
The Congress pradhan of Sitgram panchayat, Nabakanta Barman, said he expected all 80-odd land owners to be present tomorrow.
“Most of them will come,” he said.
According to Barman, the farmers collectively own 80-85 acres on which they grow paddy, wheat or jute, depending on the season. The hospital requires 100 acres.
Barman said the farmers would “present flowers to Deepa, who is leading the campaign to bring the hospital project to Raiganj, and verbally assure her that they were willing to sell their land for the hospital”.
When contacted in Delhi, Deepa said the Panishala programme was a “special” one. “The programme being arranged by the willing land owners in Panishala is a special one for me. I respect their effort,” she said.
District Congress president Mohit Sengupta said Deepa was scheduled to arrive by flight from Delhi to Bagdogra around 10am tomorrow.
“She will arrive at Panishala around 5pm,” Sengupta said.
At Panishala today, the farmers were busy making preparations at Sitgram High School. “We are ready to sell our land…. We will appeal to her at tomorrow’s event to convince the Centre to buy the land for the hospital directly from us,” said Mohammad Ali, one of the willing farmers.
The Trinamul Congress said the Panishala reception was Deepa’s “stunt”.