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Mamata dubs GJM autocratic, says West Bengal is indivisible

Affirming that Darjeeling is part of West Bengal and it is inseparable, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused the GJM of imposing an autocracy in the hills by forcibly organising shutdowns and warned that such action would not be tolerated.

By asking the people to stay indoors in the name of agitation, the GJM is pursuing an ‘autocratic’ style of governance even after the GTA was formed as per its wishes, the chief minister said here during a felicitation by the Lepcha community.

‘Autocracy is going on in the name of the agitation stalling the development of Darjeeling. They are asking the people to remain indoors. It is as if the king is asking his people to stay inside. It cannot be tolerated,’ she said at the programme attended by several thousands, mostly Lepchas.

She warned, ‘You are free to go to Delhi. You are even free to go to Obama, if you wish. But Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong are part of West Bengal and will remain so. There is no question of separation.’

‘We have given you GTA as you had wanted. What more do you want?’ Banerjee wondered and urged the GJM to participate in tomorrow’s scheduled meeting of the GTA to find a successor to its president Bimal Gurung, who had resigned as the chief executive in the wake of the announcement of the decision to form Telengana.

Asking the hill party to withdraw the bandh to facilitate a return to normal life so that tourists come back, she charged that GJM workers were stockpiling food for themselves and keeping the poor unfed in the name of the bandh.

She accused them of terrorising the people so that no one came to receive food at the centres opened by the state government, and of indulging in arson, destruction of property as well as stalling development including the 100-day work programme.

Mamata said, ‘It is unfair to subject the people to hardships in the name of bandhs and shutdowns which are going for a month. I am pained. I wanted to do a lot for the development of Darjeeling.’

In the naming of stopping distribution of food by the state government through special centres, the GJM was depriving the economically weaker sections of the people in the Darjeeling hills, she charged.

The chief minister warned of action against ration dealers in Darjeeling hills who have kept their shops closed.

With the state having issued a no-work-no-pay order, affecting state government employees who form a large chunk of the GJM support base in the Hills, Banerjee warned that if they continue to remain absent, action would be taken and new recruitments would be made in their place.

On a social networking site, Banerjee said, ‘I am very happy to be back to the Darjeeling Hills again. I love Darjeeling and all its brothers and sisters. Today, I am in Kalimpong at the invitation of Lepcha brothers and sisters, who decided to confer on me the title of ‘Kinchoom Daarmit’ (One who rules fates). I express my sincere gratitude and thanks to them’.
Nandini Guha

Nandini Guha

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