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Farmers plan to meet CM

Raiganj, Nov. 21: The farmers of Panishala willing to sell land for an AIIMS-like medical facility have decided to make a third attempt to meet Mamata Banerjee during her scheduled visit here on November 26 and request her to start acquiring their plots.

The farmers of Panishala, an area adjacent to NH34, had made two attempts earlier to meet the chief minister and failed. This is the first time that Mamata will be visiting Raiganj, the home turf of her bete noire, Deepa Das Munshi, ever since she became the chief minister in 2011.

“We have been waiting for the past six years for the hospital to come up here. In 2007, a team of officials had inspected our land and we had told them that we would part with 100 acres. However, the Left Front government did nothing. When Mamata Banerjee came to power, we thought that things would change. But the chief minister not only ignored our plea but also tried to shift the project elsewhere. We are determined to meet her personally during her visit here and express our intention to sell the land for the hospital,” said Mohammad Rafiq, the spokesperson for the willing farmers.

Panishala is 8km from here.

Rafiq said he and the others were aware of the security arrangements during Mamata’s visit. “We don’t know how we will meet the chief minister. But we will go to Karnajora and try and to meet her.”

Deepa said she welcomed the chief minister’s visit to the district. “After taking charge, she has been to all district headquarters. But this is her first visit to Raiganj. The construction of an AIIMS-like facility is the most important project for North Dinajpur district. The chief minister is scheduled to hold an administrative meeting and monitor development. Maybe she will arrive at some solution to the impasse,” Deepa said.

District magistrate, P.N. Bhutia, said the chief minister would be in Raiganj on November 26 and 27. “The chief minister is supposed to hold an administrative meeting at Karnajora on November 26 and stay here overnight. She will address a public meeting in Karnajora on November 27 and then proceed to Kushmandi in South Dinajpur.”