Regional political parties in N Bengal pledge support for TMC
Cooch Behar: Seeing the pre-poll assurances of BJP as a "hoax", regional political parties and associations that have influence in 35 out of 54 Assembly constituency seats in North Bengal are going to stay beside Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee in the forthcoming Assembly polls for the immense development work carried out by the government for the people from Rajbangshi community.
Both Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP) and Greater Cooch Behar People's Association (GCBPA) — that fights for development and rights of the people from Rajbangshi community — agreed upon the point that the Mamata Banerjee's government has addressed the longstanding issues related to Rajbangshi community that dominates at least five North Bengal districts including Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, North and South Dinajpur.
"BJP made several promises including giving recognition to Kamtapuri language and raising Narayani Battalion. Neither they have given recognition to our language nor stated that raising Narayani Battalion is not possible after the Lok Sabha polls in which they have won in all the seats in North Bengal. There is nothing wrong to call promises as "hoax" if it is not fulfilled despite giving assurances. On the contrary, the state government has given recognition to the language and the Chief Minister inaugurated the headquarters of Narayani Battalion in Cooch Behar on Tuesday," said Bangsi Badan Barman, general secretary of GCBPA, adding that they are going to give all their support to Banerjee in the forthcoming Assembly elections for the work that her government has undertaken to ensure the overall development of the community.
Echoing almost the same, KPP's president Atul Roy said: "We really appreciate the development projects taken up by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and would continue to be with her for the same."
In the same breath, he stated that they had given deputation to the Centre through the then Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia demanding recognition for Kamtapuri language. They had even written to us stating that the matter will be looked into. "But three years have passed and nothing has taken place yet," Roy said.
Around 42 per cent votes in North Bengal is of the people from Rajbangshi community apart from in four Assembly constituencies in the Hills and some in the plains including Siliguri and Phansidewa.
Trinamool Congress was ahead only in 13 out of 54 seats in North Bengal in the last general elections. According to the experts, the massive development work for North Bengal districts and Rajbangshi community is keeping Trinamool Congress ahead from other political parties in the forthcoming Assembly polls. Trinamool Congress would also get an advantage in the Hills this time with both the factions of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha welcoming assurance of the Chief Minister who on Tuesday said in Jalpaiguri that her "government will only workout a permanent political solution for the Hills".
The state government has built 1,100 houses under Rajbangshi Abas Yojona, set up Panchanan Barma University and declared his birthday as a state holiday and also set up Rajbangshi Basha Academy and Rajbangshi Development and Cultural Board.