Millennium Post

White ration cards to authenticate citizens' identity, says Mamata

White ration cards to authenticate citizens identity, says Mamata

Gangarampur (South Dinajpur): Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday that unity in diversity is the forte of Bengal and those trying to create fissures will not be successful. She also maintained that everyone residing in Bengal will remain its citizens and white ration cards would be shortly issued to those who want it as an identity proof but won't use it to get food grains through the public distribution system.

"Don't pay heed to false propaganda. There will be no NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill in Bengal. They got through in Assam because the implementation of NRC is a clause in the Assam Accord and there is no such thing in Bengal. Anyone who resides in Bengal is a citizen of the state irrespective of his religion, community or language. There is no need to prove their citizenship once again," Banerjee said.

"There are some who want to create fissures between people in the Hills, between Rajbanshis and Kamtapuris in North Bengal, between Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and also between Bengalis who have lived here for generations and the ones that crossed over to the state after partition.

"Those plotting such conspiracies will not meet with success," she maintained.

The Chief Minister, who is on a tour in North Bengal, chaired an administrative meeting in Gangarampur in South Dinajpur district on Tuesday. After addressing a TMC workers' meet in Cooch Behar followed by a visit to the Madan Mohan temple and the Raas Mela, she left for Gangarampur around Tuesday noon by helicopter.

Without naming the BJP, Banerjee alleged that "they" are trying to create rifts between communities. "They are creating divisions between Bengalis and Adivasis and between religious groups and linguistic groups. They are even trying to create a division in the Bengali community — between Bengalis and the refugees. Don't give in to their sinister designs," Banerjee added.

She urged the Food and Supplies department to hold more ration card enrolment and rectification camps for the benefit of the masses. "Soon we will be issuing white-coloured ration cards to those who want them as a document for identity and not for issuing foodgrains under the public distribution system. They can apply through Form 10. The white ration cards (non-foodgrain ration cards) will save money as foodgrains are procured by the government and then distributed by giving a huge subsidy. This amount, in turn, can be used for handing out benefits to others coming from a weaker economic background," Banerjee said. The Chief Minister was not too happy with the performance of the South Dinajpur district and pointed out the delay in executing projects, including those which were incomplete along with a drop in 100 days' work scheme.

"If the progress is slow, people will question me. If public work is not done, then I will not spare anyone," said the Chief Minister. She urged the Block Development Officers to speed up their work. "Do not work for the sake of working but take initiatives to work for the public," she stated.

Urging farmers to give more impetus on cultivating onions, she also asked the concerned department to construct specialised cold storage with moisture control facilities for the produce. She asked stakeholders of agro-processing industry, horticulture and MSME to sit in a meeting in Kolkata with the officials of the respective departments and chalk out projects.

From Gangarampur, Banerjee left for Malda where she halted for the night. After Tuesday's administrative meeting, she is scheduled to return to Kolkata.

Amitava Banerjee

Amitava Banerjee

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