Jhargram: Without naming the BJP, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the party and warned that it was playing divisive politics in a bid to drive a wedge between people.
She also urged commoners to intensify vigil and thwart any attempt to spread canards against the government and at one breath said that stern action will be taken against those who will try to destabilise society.
Addressing a gathering at Raj College ground here on Wednesday afternoon, she said: "A political party has come to propagate divisive politics. They are dividing communities and instigating one against the other. A Dalit boy who had gone to participate in a social function was beaten to death recently. Such incidents are quite common in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. But in Bengal people belonging to different communities live happily and peacefully. They are taking away land from the tribals in Jharkhand. We respect the tribals and have taken many schemes for their total development. We take part in their religious festivals and appreciate their folk culture."
This was her first meeting in the district since its formation in April.
The Chief Minister said that when innocent people were being killed in Jangalmahal then no political leaders of other parties were to be seen. "But now, they are making tall statements. Those who do not have work go to the television channels and make tall claims," she said.
Recalling an incident, she said in 2003 during one of her visits in the area she had found that the principal diet of the poor was ant and boiled roots. "I could not resist my tears and when I asked them they replied that this was their diet for 9 to 10 months in a year. On that day, I vowed to ensure one square meal a day for them if I ever came to power. Now, they are getting Rs 2 a kilo rice and wheat," she maintained.
Banerjee said there is not a single family in the area that does not enjoy one scheme or the other provided by the state government. "Schemes like Sabuj Sathi, Kanyashree, Sabujshree and pension for kendu leaf collectors along with stipend for folk artists have improved the living condition of the tribals, she said, adding: "We respect the tribals and firmly believe that one day students of this area will go abroad for higher studies."
The Chief Minister said it is most unfortunate that when peace has come back to the area then some individuals with vested interests are trying to "create disturbances by spreading canard against the state government and Trinamool Congress."
Referring to the recent trouble at the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandir Ekalavya Model Residential School, she said the state government has invited the RKM to open the school so that tribal boys and girls could be provided best possible education. "But there are people with vested interests who are creating trouble. This is unfortunate."
The Chief Minister inaugurated 203 projects and laid the foundation of another 265. She distributed sports kits and footballs among the youth and urged them to play different games seriously as "they help to develop personality in addition to building physical fitness."