Senior TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee on Tuesday met members of the Kurmi community, which has been protesting over their demand for ST status. He met them at Khantra in Bankura where he held a roadshow as part of the 'Trinamooley Nabojowar' (new wave in Trinamool) campaign ahead of the panchayat elections.
Banerjee, the MP of Diamond Harbour, gave them a patient hearing, and said that they had every right to organise democratic protests to press for their demands, according to a local TMC leader. "Banerjee also told them that dialogue can resolve any issue," he said.
The Kurmi community, which is classified as OBC at present, protested for days in April in different districts of the state, including Dakshin Dinajpur, Purulia, Jhargram and Paschim Medinipur, demanding ST status. Banerjee was scheduled to address a rally at Simlipal but it was cancelled due to bad weather, following which he led three roadshows in Taldangra, Khatra and Ranibadh.
In Gobindpur village, he interacted with locals who apprised him of their problems. Several people told him about their discontentment over not getting homes under the PM Awas Yojana. Abhishek told them, "The is Centre's gift to the people of Bankura as they voted for BJP. The Centre has stopped funds for MGNREGA and PM Awas Yojana to the state."