Pinak Priya Bhattacharya,
JALPAIGURI: After winning over the confidence of the agricultural belt, the Trinamool Congress is quietly making its way into the tribal belt of north Bengal. The ruling party seems to have managed to bring the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parshad (ABAVP) leadership into its confidence.
If everything goes down well, there is every possibility that the ABAVP would extend support to the Trinamool Congress in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.
The tribal body has arranged a meeting at Malbazar in the Dooars on February 12 where Adivasi leaders will express their gratefulness to the chief minister for fulfilling some of their demands.
Soon after becoming the CM, Mamata Banerjee had announced that her government would take steps to meet the tribal demands.
Accordingly, the government announced a holiday for tribals on Karam Puja, a Hindi medium college was set at Banerhat, a Tribal Advisory Committee was constituted, a Terai Dooars Task Force was established and a separate department was established for tribals. The demand for providing patta of garden land to tribals was also met.
“We had supported the Left Front for more than three decades but nothing was done for us. Giving patta to tribals living in garden quarters was a major step taken by the Trinamool Congress. We are therefore very grateful to the government,” a senior ABAVP leader said.
“Our primary target is to bring back peace and tranquility in the region. Unless we bring the tribals into the mainstream, this is not possible. If the ABAVP supports us in the Lok Sabha polls, it will be really great for the people of the region,” a Trinamool leader said.