West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will attend an administrative meeting in Jhargram district on Wednesday to review the ground reality ahead of the 2021 assembly polls.
There are 44 assembly seats in Jangalmahal including 12 seats in Bankura, nine in Purulia, 19 in West Midnapore and four in Jhargram including Gopiballavpur, Jhargram, Binpur and Nayagram.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak in March, this will be the Chief Minister’s first crucial visit to Jangalmahal ahead of the polls. Apart from the administrative meetings, CM will also meet tribal leaders of Santhal and Kurmi in the districts to take stock of ground reality. Even though TMC has managed to tackle the Maoist problem in Jangalmahal, yet it has never been a favourable zone for the party.
Before her scheduled visit to Jhargram – which saw a huge saffron surge in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Mamata instructed her administrative officials at Kharagpur on Tuesday to ensure no one should be left out of government schemes.
“Every year a lot of people die in elephant attacks in Bengal. The victim’s family members suffer a lot due to such incidents. We already have a compensation package of Rs 2.5 lakhs but today I would like to announce a job for one family member as a home-guard in the police department,” Mamata said.
Not only this, but CM Mamata has also announced promotion of nearly 4,284 junior constables who fought the Maoists in Jangalmahal and completed five years of their job. “We have also announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakhs and a job for one family member of those who are still missing and killed by the Maoists,” she added.
Further alleging that the Centre is not giving any development funds, Mamata added, “the Centre is not giving GST but still we are doing our best for the welfare of tribal people in Jangalmahal.”
Meanwhile, the administrative officials have been asked to give special attention towards the Lodha and Sabar tribe to save them from the pandemic due to nutritional deficiencies among them.
Once a Maoist stronghold, Jangalmahal’s substantial vote bank of the Left Front has pushed the saffron brigade ahead of the ruling TMC in recent years. This helped the BJP to create history by securing 18 Lok Sabha seats (out of 42) in Bengal in 2019 general elections.
According to Election Commission statistics, even though BJP lost to TMC in 2014 Lok Sabha, the vote percentage of the saffron brigade has increased significantly to 20 per cent in the Jangalmahal districts. Similarly, in the 2018 Panchayat election, the BJP increased its vote share by 27 per cent in Jangalmahal districts as TMC suffered massive setbacks at Jhargram, Purulia and in Bankura.
However, in the last few months, TMC aggressively managed to regain its lost ground in ‘refugee’ and tribal-dominated areas in Jangalmahal, while BJP is struggling in Bengal with Muslim votes and Centre’s decision to implement NRC.