West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday paid tributes to the agitators who were killed in police firing in Nandigram in 2007 and said she has chosen to fight "anti-Bengal forces" in the constituency as a mark of respect to the martyrs.
Banerjee, who is pitted against former lieutenant and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram seat, said that farmers are the pride of West Bengal and the state government is working tirelessly for their development.
"On this day, in 2007, innocent villagers were killed in firing at #Nandigram. Many bodies could not be found. It was a dark chapter in the history of the state. Heartfelt tribute to all those who lost their lives," Banerjee tweeted.
The TMC observes March 14 as 'Nandigram Divas' to pay respect to the 14 people who were killed in police firing on this day during an anti-land acquisition stir in 2007.
The incident had sparked a national outrage and the Calcutta high court had suo motu ordered a CBI probe.
"In memory of those who lost their lives in #Nandigram, we observe March 14 as #KrishakDibas every year and give away the #KrishakRatna awards. Farmers are our pride and our government is working for their all-round development," she said in another Twitter post.
Banerjee said it is an honour for her to work along with the martyrs' families in Nandigram.
"As a mark of respect and encouraged by my brothers and sisters of Nandigram, I am contesting #BengalElections2021 as @AITCofficial candidate from this historic place. It is my great honour to be here and work along with members of Shaheed families against anti-Bengal forces," she said.
Banerjee, then the opposition TMC leader, had spearheaded a movement against the Left Front government's acquisition of arable land in Nandigram and Singur for industrialisation.
Her party reaped rich dividends from the agitations, winning 50 per cent of the panchayat seats in 2008, bagging 19 Lok Sabha seats in 2009 and ending the 34-year-long Left Front rule in the state in 2011.
Elections to the 294-member assembly will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29.
Results will be announced on May 2.