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CM caution on RSS, meals

Midnapore, Jan. 25: Words of caution — on fundamentalism and the quality of food served in primary schools at lunchtime — were the main features of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s speeches at the three functions he attended in his tour of West Midnapore today.

Addressing a convention of Central government employees this morning, Bhattacharjee warned the delegates about the RSS’ efforts to gain a foothold in the state.

“RSS chief Sudarshan visited Bengal for the first time this week to campaign and we have to be very alert. We will not allow them to unleash violence here like they did in Gujarat,” asserted the chief minister.

“The police alone cannot tackle such an eventuality. I have full faith in the mindset of the people here and any number of Sudarshans and Togadias cannot change it,” Bhattacharjee said.

In a totally different vein, Bhattacharjee cautioned officials, including district magistrate M.V. Rao, about the quality of food served for the midday meals at Salboni’s Hirendranagar Primary School.

“We are determined to keep the nutritional quality of food served to our children at the highest level and you should make sure that you procure the best quality of rice supplied by the Food Corporation of India,” Bhattacharjee told the district magistrate.

The chief minister said the rice that FCI procures from Bengal’s farmers should be served in the schools.

Much to the officials’ relief, the chief minister did not sit down with the children for hot khichuri and vegetables. “The arrangements made here are good,” he said.

When media attracted Bhattacharjee’s attention to an FCI official alleging that rice bound for ration shops from FCI godowns was replaced midway with an inferior variety, Bhattacharjee asked Rao to immediately contact the official and check the malpractice.

At the end of his tour in Chandrakona Road, where he inaugurated an auditorium built by the zilla parishad, Bhattacharjee said the proposed Kharagpur-Midnapore Development Authority would resume work to speed up development in West Midnapore district, which is largely non-industrial.

“This body will look into all aspects of industrial development in the district and play a key role in attracting investment. Many industrialists have already visited this region and have agreed to set up units,” Bhattacharjee said.

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