Kolkata: In order to fight back economic deprivation in Naxal affected Jangalmahal in West Bengal, the state government has planned to provide subsidised packets of essential food items to families living under the Below Poverty Level (BPL) mark. The packet would contain five food items including rice, pulse, spices and edible oil.

Giving details of the proposed plan of the state government, Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mullick said, “In Jangalmahal, tribal population is vast and poverty in this community is the main reason behind the growing Maoist menace. The plan to distribute subsidised food packets would prove helpful to the people. These food items would be in small packets and would serve the purpose of a five member BPL family.”

Mullick further informed that discussions with prospective distributors in this regard are under process. Under the proposed plan, edible oil may be provided in small sachets.

To assess the poverty level in Jangalmahal region which covers West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, Mullick took a survey himself some time back.

Slamming the former state government, he said, “The poverty in this stretch is an outcome of the ignorant attitude of the Left Front, which was in power for a period of 34 years.”

He said the forthcoming plan is in accordance with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s promise to provide food to everyone.
When asked if this government move would earn the displeasure of Maoists of the region, Mullick said, “I am convinced that Maoists would not take the risk of losing public sympathy by interrupting the plan. And if an obstacle is created, we will initiate the required steps.”

(JPN/Bureau)