West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the BJP of misguiding the tribal and scheduled caste communities in the state and trying to buy their votes by giving them cash before the elections.
Without naming BJP, the Trinamool Congress supremo also hinted that the saffron outfit was orchestrating the infiltration of Maoists into Bengal’s Jangalmahal (western districts having large forest tracts) from neighbouring Jharkhand to cause unrest in the area.
“There is a political party that misguides the people here before the elections and asks for their votes by giving Rs 1,000 in cash to each villager. Do not believe them. They will you give money for two-three days and then disappear,” Banerjee said at a public meeting in Jhargram on occasion of ‘Adivasi Dibas’ (Tribal’s Day).
“We have not allowed any tension in this region for the last seven years. We haven’t allowed the Maoists to foment trouble. But now some parties are helping the Maoists from Jharkhand to infiltrate here. They are trying to bring back the days of bloodshed and violence in Jangalmahal,” she
She urged the locals of Jhargram not to let the Maoist guerillas enter their area and also stop those who are influencing the Maoists.
The BJP had performed well and picked up a significant number of seats in Bengal’s Jangalmahal area comprising Jhargram, West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts in the recent state rural body elections.
Referring to the incidents of lynching in the country, Banerjee said the BJP was not interested in people’s welfare and was always trying to divide people along communal lines.
“We do not divide Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Chirstians. BJP, the ruling party in Delhi, does these things… They are not interested in the welfare of people. See how the dalits, tribals and minorities are being lynched across the country,” Banerjee said.
“Let us take an oath to stop the communal forces. There is no room for communalism, fundamentalism, hatred, conspiracy and propaganda,” she said.
Giving out a detailed list of her government’s welfare schemes in the backward districts, Banerjee said the state Backward Classes Welfare Department (BCW) has provided caste certificates, reservation in the government sector and higher education, educational loans and scholarships, educational and job opportunities, healthcare facilities, and training in different skills.
She also laid the foundation stone of a new University in Jhargram.