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Include Bengal indigenous communities in ST list: Mamata

Posted on Jan 21 2014 | IANS

Mirik (West Bengal), Jan 21 : With a view to bring about all round development of northern West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said she will urge the central government to include various indigenous communities from the region in the Scheduled Tribes list.

"We have been receiving memoranda from various indigenous communities. Since it solely falls under the purview of the centre we will urge them to include various communities from here like Tamang, Bhutia, Chettri, Gurung etc in the ST list," Banerjee said.

Speaking at a programme organised by the local Tamang community in this picturesque tourist spot of Darjeeling district, Banerjee said her government will set up a Development and Cultural Board for the Tamang community.

The chief minister, who Monday inaugurated a branch of the state government secretariat in Jalpaiguri, asserted her government's commitment to the development and progress of the region.

The chief minister also announced the setting up of two polytechnic colleges at Mirik and Kalimpong and three Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)in Kalimpong, Gorubathan and Mongpu.

"I want Darjeeling to prosper. Peace is essential for development. We have to work together for progress. We are all one. The same blood flows in our veins," said Banerjee about the region which has historically witnessed separatist movements hampering its development.

Stating that it was her 26th visit to the Darjeeling hills after coming to power in 2011, Banerjee asked the people to consider her a "guard" who will protect them as well as work for their welfare.

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