'BJP does not want any development in the Hills'

Darjeeling: As the state kick-started the first phase of elections with Cooch Behar and Alipurduar going to polls on Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressed a huge rally in Darjeeling and launched a scathing attack on the BJP for not doing any development in the Hills. Darjeeling goes to polls in the second phase of elections on April 18.

"The BJP wants unrest in the Hills. They light the fire here and Delhi adds fuel. They do not want development and peace here. People in Delhi (BJP) instigate the problems here. The more the problems, the better are their chances of taking advantage of the situation. The BJP does not want any progress in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik areas. You had elected BJP, now is the time to ask them what have they done in the Hills in the past 10 years. What have they done for Darjeeling," questioned the TMC supremo to which the crowd replied in unison "Nothing."

Banerjee, flanked by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders, addressed a mammoth rally at the Darjeeling Motor Stand on Thursday. Both TMC and GJM supporters from Darjeeling and Kalimpong had gathered.

"The saffron party's outgoing MP S S Ahluwalia never visited the region after winning the election. The parliamentarian, who fled the Hills, is contesting from Burdwan this time," she claimed.

"Now, they (BJP and allies) are saying that they have a Bhumiputra (son of the soil) and that people should vote for him. Then who is Amar Singh Rai? Isn't he a Bhumiputra? Whenever someone is with Bimal Gurung and BJP, he becomes a Bhumiputra and when he is with me, he ceases to be one? What sort of double standard is this? I didn't bring anyone from Delhi," stated Banerjee.

She also added that the Bimal Gurung chapter is closed. "Bimal Gurung had a lot of chance to work for this region. Those who are still with Gurung, you all are not my enemies. You are like my brothers and sisters. I appeal to you to not help them. They (Gurung and his aides) do not love Darjeeling. They will take all the money and go abroad," she retorted.

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