Kolkata, August 30 (Agency)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said she would rather die than grab land forcibly for projects.
Addressing a meeting at Itahar of North Dinajpur district, about 400 km from here, she said the Trinamool Congress' stand on the issue was decided in 2006 when she undertook a 26-day fast demanding the return of 400 acres to the farmers.
"I almost died when I undertook that hunger strike. But I did not give in. So our policy on land acquisition was decided at that time," Banerjee said.
"We will not acquire land at gunpoint. I will prefer death to taking land forcibly from farmers," she said.
The trigger for Banerjee's comments was the repeated criticism by Congress MP Deepa Dasmunshi that the government was against acquiring land for setting up a hospital in Raiganj of North Dinajpur.
Banerjee said: "I don't have any problem in setting up a hospital at Raiganj. But first those who are criticising me should arrange for 100 acres. We are not going to take the land by using force."