Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee reached out to the state’s tribal population in her first visit to the Jangalmahal region on Thursday after the BJP made inroads in the panchayat polls held in May.
Speaking in Jhargam area on World Tribal Day, she attacked the BJP saying that it only believed in divisive politics of hate, while her administration believed in the concept of Ma, Mati, Manus (Mother, Earth, People).
“Jangalmahal Amar Khub Priyo...Eta Amake Haratey Debenna (I love Jangalmahal and I don’t want to lose it). BJP is doing divisive politics by misleading the tribal people. Don’t believe them. If you have to believe someone - then trust Trinamool Congress and no one else,” she said.
BJP’s presence in the region has grown considerably in the last one year after visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah. The party has also managed to enroll nearly 1,30,000 members and established 140 offices.
Banerjee took credit of freeing the region of Maoists but alleged that BJP is trying to create disturbance in the area.
“Touchwood Jungalmahal is peaceful now. Please don’t allow trouble makers to divide the tribal people. If you come across such people, please inform the police otherwise this will lead to unrest,” she added.
“Jangalmahal is now free from Maoists. Touchwood, it’s peaceful now. Some people are trying to bring Maoists from Jharkhand to create tension and disturbance among tribal groups,” she said, hinting at the BJP without taking the party’s name.
“Please stay alert and don’t allow them to enter your territory. They only knows bloodbath and nothing else,” she added.
Mamata also asked administrative officials, police and her party’s workers to stay alert and to start door-to-door campaign to connect with the people.
She had earlier sanctioned Rs 120 crore for better health care facility for villagers in Jangalmahal. She had also announced 10,000 jobs for youths as special police constables, 1,800 jobs for youths who have studied Olchiki, an ITI at Binpur and in West Midnapore, a polytechnic institute in Bankura, agro based industry at Salboni and Rs 112 crore to ensure drinking water in the area.
Sources said the CM is planning to regularly visit the region to get a first-hand report on developmental projects promised in recent times.