In the run-up to the West Bengal assembly election, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she would not allow “forcible displacement” of any “immigrant” from plots of land that the central government owns. The chief minister said that she would hand over “pattas” (land certificates) to all such “refugees”.
The chief minister’s statement comes amid reports that eviction notices put up at several such places.
Following a cabinet meeting, Banerjee said at the state secretariat, “We have got information that at some places in Bankura and Habra, central government organisations have put up eviction notices. But our government would not allow any such things. We will give them (refugees) dalil (official document) in accordance with their merit.”
Mamata: We will hand over land certificates
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief said that her dispensation had regularised 213 refugee colonies over the last two years, and issued a total of 2,79,000 land certificates. Asserting that such evictions will not be allowed, she said that even Bangladeshis who had been staying on those estates for several years would receive the land certificates and other official documents and those who had not received them so far, would get them soon.
Ironically, the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC used to complain of the CPM-led Left Front winning election after election during the coalition’s 34-year rule, riding on the votes of Muslims from Bangladesh. As an MP, Banerjee would even engage her CPM counterparts in brawls inside the parliament when the TMC was an ally of the BJP during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee rule.
Mamata Banerjee said, “Not a single colony will be left out. We are doing it for everyone, be it those living on state government land, on private property or on land belonging to central government organizations, like the railways.” She stated that her cabinet had approved of the freehold rights of unauthorised inhabitants of Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s ward number 109.
All refugee colonies in West Bengal, including those in the city’s Jadavpur, Behala, Dhakuria, Sonarpur, Ballygunge, and Beleghata areas, will get such rights, TMC supremo said.
“The cabinet, overwhelmed by the response to the ruling dispensation’s flagship programme ”Duare Sarkar” (government at doorsteps), has agreed to extend its timeline for another phase to ensure that more and more people get to avail the benefits of the state-run schemes,’ the chief minister said.
West Bengal election
The Legislative Assembly election for 294 seats in the state is likely to be held in April or May 2021.
Home Minister Amit Shah who was on a visit to the state in November, had exuded confidence of winning over 200 seats in the upcoming polls, an ambitious target even after considering the fact that the party had won 18 seats of the 42 seats of West Bengal in 2019 Lok Sabha election.
The BJP has emerged as the main challenger for the TMC. Moreover, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President JP Nadda have planned a visit to the state every month for party campaigning until the election month arrives.
While the BJP has deplored the ruling party for the political violence and the issue of law and order in the state, the TMC has retaliated back vowing to never allow “outsiders” to take control of Bengal.
TMC holds 222 seats and claims to get 200+ in the upcoming assembly polls, despite BJP giving a fierce competition with dozens of TMC MLAs and workers joining BJP. Raking up issues of political violence and corruption, the BJP is asking Bengal voters to bring an end to the ‘dictatorship’ of Mamata Banerjee and once again establish a ‘Sonar Bangla’.