Hoping that the people of West Bengal will show “religious tolerance” and maintain a peaceful environment during the upcoming Chhath Puja, Jagaddhatri Puja, Christmas and other festivals, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her state never believed in discrimination. “West Bengal believes in the philosophies of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda and rejects any sort of discrimination between people,” she said.
Banerjee alleged that though “some people” were “spreading religious intolerance” in the state and there was an “atmosphere of religious and political intolerance” in the country, “complete communal harmony” prevailed in West Bengal.
“Bengal does not allow politics of communalism and riots. It will not be tolerated,” she cautioned while addressing a rally after an administrative meeting here in West Midnapore district.
She took pride in the fact that it was only Bengal which could celebrate both Durga Puja and Muharram “harmoniously”. The chief minister said Jhargram (now a sub-division under West Midnapore district) would soon be made a full-fledged district.
“Jhargram will soon become a new district. We are waiting for judicial clearances. We are redefining tourism in Jhargram. Earlier, people were scared to come to these places,” she said.
Simultaneously, Asansol and Kalimpong would also be carved out from Burdwan and Darjeeling districts respectively as full-fledged districts for better administration and implementation of various development programmes, she said.
Stating that “a smiling Jangalmahal” was her biggest achievement, Banerjee said, “Five years ago, the people of Jangalmahal were living in terror. The tides have turned and this is my biggest achievement. I can give my life but will never forget Jangalmahal.”
She said the Tribal Development Ministry would soon form a development board for the welfare of the people of Jangalmahal, adding that the government had initiated a major irrigation project for the districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore.
Banerjee said she had instructed the Forest department to look into the problems of the locals posed by stray elephants from the Dalma range in Jharkhand.
On the occasion, the chief minister distributed bicycles under the ‘Sabuj Sathi’ programme among students, inaugurated a few projects and laid the foundation stones for some others.