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Congress, BJP inciting Gorkhaland issue: Mamata


Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday accused the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of creating unrest in Darjeeling for electoral gains.

"This is a deliberate strategy to create unrest in the hills through politics. It has become a trend for the Congress and BJP to politicise the Gorkhaland issue before the general elections," Banerjee said here.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) intensified their separatist movement after the Congress Working Committee and the United Progressive Alliance endorsed creation of a separate Telangana state July 30.

The GJM joined hands with several pro-Gorkhaland parties and formed the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee, now spearheading the stir which began Aug 3.

Banerjee accused GJM of holding the region to ransom for their interests, despite been granted autonomy through the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

"Through the GTA, they (GJM) have got autonomy. All the departments, barring one or two have been given to them. What else do they want? We want Darjeeling to progress and develop. I don't know for what political purpose the ongoing development in Darjeeling is being thwarted.

"They have the money, even the name Gorkhaland has been given to them. Only statehood has not been given and that is not possible because it is part of West Bengal," said Banerjee.

The GJM-run GTA was created July 18, 2011 via a tripartite agreement signed between the Gorkha outfit and the central and state governments.

Reiterating that the state would never be divided, Banerjee urged the people of the region to maintain peace and allow normal life to resume.

The chief minister is scheduled to visit the strife-torn hills Sep 2 to participate in a programme of the Lepcha community in Kalimpong.


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