We treat all communities equally, says Mamata
Indus (Bankura): Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday criticised the Centre for suspending the supply of rice for mid-day meal schemes and at one breath said Bengal is not going to surrender to any pressure tactics.
She also stated that her government does not differentiate people on caste or religious lines and those pursuing politics of hatred should not call themselves patriots. Unlike Gujarat, minority communities do not face any discrimination here, Banerjee said in a veiled attack on the BJP government in the western state. "We don't differentiate between Dalits, minorities or other communities. There are certain leaders from New Delhi, who are only busy spreading canards against us. I want to know what happens to a Dalit when he attends a programme in Gujarat. He is beaten to death," she said at a public meeting. Such incidents never occur in Bengal, she asserted.
The CM further added: "We are not going to surrender to any kind of pressure tactics by the Centre. Don't show your blood eyes. Don't forget that Bengal produces rice and we will give this rice for the mid-day meal. They are so inhuman that they do not even mind to stop rice for mid-day meals which are meant for the students." She also added: "We have a Centre that talks more and works less. Empty vessels always sound much," she remarked. She categorically stated the state government will carry on with mid-day meal scheme, irrespective of the Centre's support.
Crediting her government for bringing about peace and stability that was once synonymous with Maoist violence, Banerjee said: "There was a time when nobody dared to come to West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura. People used to fear for their lives and spent every moment in uncertainty due to the Maoist threat. They had no food, the young boys and girls did not have education as the schools were closed for years. But during the Trinamool's regime, the situation has completely changed and peace has been restored in Jangalmahal," she said. Banerjee gave Rs 25,000 to the clubs who participated in the Jangalmahal Cup. "There are many talented tribal boys who play excellent football. The state government has given them support and also encouraged the clubs. Football helps to build character and physical and mental strength," she observed.
She gave a detailed account of the projects that have been taken up in the past few years for Jangalmahal. The state government has introduced Nischoy Jaan, an ambulance service to encourage the would-be-mothers to go for institutional delivery. Schools, colleges have been set up and a university will soon come up at Jhargram. Also, tribal boys and girls have been given coaching tuitions in WBCS Examination. In the health sector, the state government has set up superspecialty hospitals where medical treatment is free. The mother and child hubs are functioning well. The SC and ST students have been given scholarships and some of them have become doctors, engineers and teachers.
Banerjee urged people to inform her about those who "are using money power to fan communalism."
The CM said people should respect the feelings and sentiments of others and live peacefully and happily. She also announced the state government would observe Vivek mela and Netaji mela to celebrate the birth anniversaries of Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose respectively throughout the state in 2018.