With an eye on refugee votes in the state in the 2021 assembly polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday granted land rights to 25,000 refugee families and said a total of 1.25 lakh families would be given land rights.
The land deed will be without any conditions, Ms Banerjee, who had made the announcement on this a year ago, said.
Ms Banerjee also allotted ₹ 10 crore and ₹ 5 crore grant for the Matua Development Board and Namashudra Development Board respectively.
“Today, we are giving 25,000 land right documents to the refugees. A total of 1.25 lakh refugee families would be given land rights in the days to come,” she said at a programme at the secretariat.
“This land right document will act as proof that you (the recipients) are a citizen of this country. No one can take away your citizenship,” she said.
The government, Ms Banerjee said, has been continuously working for the development of the Matua and the Namashudra communities in the state.
The Chief Minister was interacting with representatives of different communities, folk and traditional artistes where she formally started handing over pattas to the refugees, many of them representing backward communities.
This patta is “nisartho dalil” (land deed without any conditions), Ms Banerjee said adding she had been working for the land deed of refugees since the late 1980s when she was the Congress MP from Jadavpur.
She took a dig at the BJP and said those who are not aware of the ground realities in the state only tour it before elections and try to befool the people, including those from backward communities, with false promises.
“Suddenly they (BJP) have woken up to the issue of Matuas. They make tall promises before votes. Do they know for how long we had been working for these people?” Ms Banerjee said.
“We are allotting ₹ 10 crore and ₹ five crore for the Matua development board and Namashudra Development Board. We will also allot funds for Bagdi, Mahji and Dule communities,” she said.