Kolkata, Sep 14 (IANS) With Assembly elections slated to be held in the first half of next year, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000 and free housing for around 8,000 poor Sanatan Brahmin priests in the state.
“Many priests from the Sanatan Brahmin sect in Bengal are financially weak. The state has decided to help them by providing a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000 and free homes under its housing scheme,” Banerjee told the media at the state Secretariat.
She said that her government had already provided land to the Sanatan Brahmin sect to set up an academy at Kolaghat.
“The sect representatives have met me 3-4 times. Many of them are poor and hardly get any ‘puja’ work in the villages on a monthly basis. We have already got a list of 8,000 priests. Please don’t look at the move with a different perspective. We want development of all communities,” the Trinamool Congress leader said.
The Assembly elections are likely to be held in April-May 2021 in the state.
Banerjee said that her government respected all languages and did not have a linguistic bias.
Conveying her warm wishes on ‘Hindi Diwas’, she said: “Bengal is a land of inclusivity and through our persistent efforts we have proudly inculcated Rabindranath Tagore’s values of ‘Unity in Diversity’. The West Bengal government has taken various initiatives to strengthen Hindi culture and welfare of those speaking the language in Bengal.”
She said that her government had persevered to undertake inclusive development of all by giving recognition to Hindi, Urdu, Gurmukhi, Ol-Chiki, Rajbanshi, Kamtapuri, and Kurukh languages in West Bengal.
“I urge the Centre to follow suit by also including Bengali as a classical language in National Education Policy 2020,” the CM said, adding that her government had decided to set up a Hindi Academy and a Dalit Sahitya Academy in Bengal.