November 15, 2006
Left parties in Bihar are up in arms against the land reforms commission's report accusing them of accepting money from landowners to facilitate peaceful farming.
Bihar Land Reforms Commission chairman D. Bandopadhyay said that Left parties collected 10 percent of agricultural produce as 'levy' from landowners to allow them peaceful cultivation in their strongholds.
Bandopadhyay said in return the landowners get a free hand to make arrangements of crop sharing.
The remarks have sparked a controversy.
'It is baseless and wrong to say that Left parties collect levy from landowners and sharecroppers. The Maoists take levy, not Left parties,' said Badri Narain Lal, state secretary of the Communist Party of India.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist also hit out at the commission.
The CPI (Marxist-Leninist) said it first read the report before making a comment. 'If it is a public report, we would comment soon,' said party general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya.
It is widely known that outlawed groups such as the Communist Party of India-Maoist collect levy from businessmen, contractors and even government officials in their strongholds