Apparently targeting the Maoist ultras, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday cautioned people in a remote area of West Midnapore district to remain vigilant about “outsiders” attempting to create unrest.
Launching the statewide “all-weather rural road network project” in Amlasole village – which made national headlines in 2004 during the then Left Front regime for starvation deaths – she stressed the need to maintain peace.
Banerjee had then rushed to Amlasole, close to the Bengal-Jharkhand border and highlighted the condition of the impoverished village.
Returning to Amlasole Tuesday and thereby becoming the first chief minister to visit the backward village, she unveiled a slew of development projects in the area.
“Some will come to lend a hand in Amlasole’s progress while some will come from outside and try to destroy the area through hooliganism…the mothers and sisters should keep in mind that if there’s peace in the household, then sons and daughters do well. I wish there is no bloodshed in this area, no one should try to sow the seeds of unrest here,” she said.
Amlasole is a part of the Junglemahal – forested areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts – where the Maoists had a strong base for a number of years. However, the red rebels have been on the backfoot in the region over the past couple of years.
In an apparent reference to the Left Front rule, Banerjee said: “People here were neglected. There were no roads, no hospitals, no drinking water. We have taken up the mission to change all this.”
In a bid to increase connectivity to villages and remote areas of the state, the government began simultaneous construction of roads in all 3,354 village panchayat areas Tuesday.
Banerjee announced plans for a secondary (Madhyamik) level school and also said that the state government would alleviate the drinking water problem in the village.
“I am happy to see that Amlasole which had made headlines for starvation, is now getting rice at Rs.2 per kg through the public distribution system of the state government.”
She stressed that the region needs to be self-sufficient in education and health.
“People here are doing good work under the 100 days’ work scheme. I want my brothers and sisters of Amlasole to be self-reliant. The block development officers and district officials must address the needs of the people,”she said.