West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a grant of Rs.1 crore to each of three heritage temple trusts in Jhargram district during her administrative meeting on Wednesday.
The Gupta Mani Temple Trust, Rameshwar Temple Trust and Kanak Durga Temple trust in Jhargram will receive these grants. Apart from the temples, Mamata also announced a grant of Rs.1 crore to the Jhargram university.
“Rs.2 crore was allocated for the renovation of Kanak Durga temple in the administrative review meeting of Jhargram district. After the meeting, today visited the Kanak Durga Temple in Jhargram and some moments of prayer for the people of Bengal to the mother. May the world be free from the blessings of mother. May all the humility, fade away with the blessings of good power. May Bengal be filled with wealthy flowers with mother's affection,” read the Facebook post on Mamata Banerjee’s official page after the meeting.
Jhargram was part of the West Midnapore district, which later was segregated to be a district on it’s own. This district is part of the Junglemahal belt, which is a tribal belt where Maoist activities were prominent during the erstwhile Left Front regime in West Bengal. Maoist activities eventually began nil after the encounter of the Maoist head, Kishenji, and subsequent surrender by other Maoist activists. Chattradhar Mahato who was a Maoist sympathizer and convenor of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) is now a member of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) state committee.
There are 44 Assembly seats in the Junglemahal belt, which becomes significant ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections in the state, where the TMC is eyeing the majority of tribal seats. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP won the West Midnapore, Jhargram, Purulia and Bankura seats which comprise the Junglemahal belt.
The TMC is desperately trying to regain voter’s confidence in this belt, which is divided into its support towards the TMC and the saffron party. This was Mamata’s first visit to Junglemahal post the lockdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from the review, the TMC wants to test waters to see whether the tribal voters will tilt favour of the ruling party, which hopes to show the BJP that it cannot unsettle Mamata from her turf.