Didi: Mahato Population Survey Underway in West Bengal

Update: 2024-02-27 17:22 GMT
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: DC File)

Kolkata: In what is likely to be the first caste census initiative in West Bengal, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Tuesday that her government has begun a survey to map the geographical population density of the Mahato community, mostly living in the western districts of the state, which have become a stronghold of the BJP since last Lok Sabha Election.

Inaugurating 430 public welfare projects worth ₹362.30 crores, the CM said at a government event in Simulia of Purulia, “I would like to tell the Mahato community that I don't want to create a rift between them and the Adivasis. The Mahatos have a long-standing demand to get the tribal community status. This is not in my hand however. So don't blame me for this.”

In a bid to woo the Mahato community before the Lok Sabha polls, Ms Banerjee then elaborated, “We have started conducting a survey to map the geographical locations where the Mahatos live and their actual percentage of population there. For example, we have more than six per cent Adivasis living here. We have to ensure that no problem arises in issuing caste certificates to them.”

Ms Banerjee pointed out, “There are some officers who are giving it away. If anyone has a complaint, the Adivasi brothers and sisters should inform us. I will also look into the problems and demands of the Mahatos. But please don't create a rift between the Mahatos and Adivasis ahead of the election because I have seen that there are many Mahato Adivasi also.”

Her announcement for the Mahato community assumes significance as the Purulia parliamentary seat, which the TMC won for the first time in 2014, went to the BJP in 2019 when it's candidate, Jyotirmoy Singh Mahato, defeated his predecessor Mriganka Mahato from there.


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