Kolkata: Ahead of panchayat polls and amidst the "controversial" comments of the TMC minister against President Droupadi Murmu, both the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) eye tribal votes.
Addressing a public rally at Belpahari in Jungle Mahal on the occasion of Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that after coming to power, the Trinamool Congress had made Jungle Mahal "peaceful."
"Earlier violence was common in Jungle Mahal, and women and children used to be afraid to even step out of their houses, but after coming to power, the TMC had made this place peaceful." "The Trinamool Congress government had also taken initiatives to educate tribal children," said Mamata.
Munda’s struggles against the British are well documented
Speaking about Birsa Munda, Mamata said that Munda’s struggles against the British are well documented.
"I can say this proudly and with immense happiness that on Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary, we have launched new seats in Jhargram Medical College, Arambagh Medical College, Barasat Medical College, Tamluk Medical College, Jalpaiguri Medical College, and Uluberia Medical College. Munda had started fighting for Adivasi rights. He will forever remain in our hearts, and hence, he is known across the country as "Dhorti Aba" or "Biswa Pita." The Britishers kept Birsa Munda in jail for over two years, and on June 9, 1900, he mysteriously died in jail, aged only 24 years. "To honour his life and achievements, the Bengal government has set up the Adivasi Bhavan at Rajarhat in Kolkata," said the West Bengal Chief Minister.
Mamata visited a tribal village to listen to people’s problems
After the rally, Mamata visited a tribal village to listen to people’s problems. The local people stated that they are still deprived of drinking water, and some even said that they are deprived of houses.
Assuring tap water to every household by the end of 2024, Mamata said that since the central government is not releasing money, the work is being hampered.
At a counter-public rally in Bankura, Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari slammed the Chief Minister, saying that people in Jungle Mahal need "jobs."
"In 2010, on July 21, when I was in TMC, Mamata asked me to arrange a rally at Jungle Mahal, and amidst the atrocities of the CPI (M), we had done a rally, following which TMC came to power in 2011. Now, by ousting this TMC government, there will be a real tribute to Birsa Munda," said Adhikari.
Countering the Chief Minister’s claim that the Central government is "not" releasing money, Adhikari said that the Central government won’t give money for the state government to "loot" them.