CPI-M accuses Mamata Banerjee of disrupting peace in Darjeeling

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

KOLKATA - Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) members on Tuesday accused Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for fostering animosity amongst the people of Darjeeling and supporting the Gorkha community’s demand for a separate Gorkhaland state.

“A conspiracy is being hatched to break our unity. Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) is trying to divide Darjeeling and in turn divide West Bengal by demanding a separate Gorkhaland. They are trying to create divide amongst the people of the state. It is very disheartening to see that Mamata Banerjee in lure of votes and to garner support extended support to their separatist demands,” said Jibesh Sarkar, CPI-M Darjeeling District Secretary.

Mamata Banerjee, who concluded her two-day visit to Darjeeling on Monday, talked about special packages for the people of the region, which she felt, has been neglected over these years by the Left-ruled State government.

Reacting to her claims, Sarkar termed her visit as politically motivated and blamed TMC cadres for creating lawlessness and terror in the State by supporting the anti-national groups.

“The people of West Bengal are ready to fight the separatists and the Maoists. The battle will definitely take place and we will surely defeat them.” Sarkar added.

On Monday, Mamata Banerjee emphasised that she would urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit the hills in West Bengal and offer special economic package to the people of the region.

“I will recommend to our honorable Prime Minister. I will request him to visit the hill areas. Come to the hill town with a special package as there is a requirement of a special package in Darjeeling,” she added.

Banerjee said that the Gorkha population of the State has always talked of development as the primary issue of their region.

“I had a talk with the Janamukti Morcha (Gorkha Janamukti Morcha) but these people never talked about a separate Gorkhaland state with me. They just talked about development and they are present here also,” she added.

The Gorkhaland Movement that began in the 1980s had ended with a truce between the then-leader Subhash Ghising and New Delhi after he accepted limited autonomy in 1988 with a new Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).

A renewed demand for Gorkhaland, which would include Darjeeling and some contiguous areas of Jalpaiguri district, was again raised by a set of new leaders like Bimal Gurung, plunging the hill areas into fresh turmoil.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around a million out of the state’s 80 million people. (ANI)

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