Sarenga: After giving a call
to Maoists to lay down arms, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee on Wednesday turned her attention to the poorest of the poor
in `junglemahal` by announcing that all tribals in the three
districts would be included in the BPL list.
"I am declaring all tribals living in junglemahal as
BPL families. I have instructed the chief secretary to work
out the details to implement this within one and half months,"
Banerjee told a public rally here in Bankura district on the
second day of her first visit to Maoist-hit areas as chief
Stating that the key to development in junglemahal
comprising West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, lay
in food for all, she said, "Our government`s top priority is
to give food to all."
"The huge population living in junglemahal is poor.
If all get food, the problem will be solved. The previous
government neglected development of junglemahal," she said.
Stating that her government had decided after coming
to power that tribals earning less than Rs 42,000 a year would
be eligible to rice at Rs 2 a kg, she said that non-tribals
have also been given some relief.
Non-tribals, who earlier required a BPL card to be
eligible for the rice rice scheme, would be eligible for rice
at Rs 2 rice a kg if their income was less than Rs 36,000, she
During the previous Left Front regime, tribals in
junglemahal with annual income of less than Rs 24,000 were
eligible for the rice scheme.
"Our focus will be on improving basic services such as
health, education, drinking water and sanitation," she said.