Asok holds state govt responsible for present Darjeeling turmoil

The Statesman

Siliguri, 2 August  – “The Trinamul Congress and its chief minister, Mamata Banerjee are responsible for the current spell of unrest that has gripped the Darjeeling Hills and she is now reaping the harvests of what she had sown with her own hands to make political hay out of the emotive tangle,” said the former state urban development minister and senior CPI-M leader, Mr Asok Bhattacharya.
In an article, published in the CPI-M’s mouthpiece Ganashakti today, he claimed: “Fresh movement for the separate state in Darjeeling is as much a fallout of the Telangana concession by the UPA as of the state government’s myopic short-sightedness. The renewal of the statehood movement is not unexpected. Rather, it is an inevitable culmination of the Trinamul Congress’s series of bungling with the tangle. The party had promised the GJMM that it would consider their demand for separate statehood. Now it is facing the music.”
“Now with things having gone against her and her party’s interests, she is speaking ill of the GJMM. But her growl against the demand for the division of the state must ring hollow when juxtaposed against her stance regarding the party when her party was in the Opposition,” Mr Bhattacharya wrote.
“She raised hammer and tongs against the erstwhile Left Front government on numerous occasions, saying that the Left Front government had unleashed state-sponsored terror on the Hills. Trinamul representatives kept staying away from the all-party meetings convened by the then state government from time to time to defuse tension”, he also wrote.
“The Chief minister has sounded unhappy with some Union ministers who are allegedly extending olive branch to the GJMM leaders with clandestine objective to embarrass the state government. But when Miss Banerjee was in the Union Cabinet she helped the GJMM leaders to obtain appointments with the Union ministers. The state government was kept in the dark,” he said.
“When the erstwhile Left Front government was taking things to their logical conclusion by way of a tripartite agreement for an interim setup for the Hills in January 2011, Miss Mamata Banerjee, then a Union minister in the UPA-II government, prodded the Centre to put things on hold,” Mr Bhattacharya alleged.
“Both the Trinamul Congress and the Congress kept cozying up to the GJMM to keep the tangle alive for sectarian political interests,” he claimed.
“The present chief minister held a meeting with the GJMM chief, Bimal Gurung in Darjeeling in September 2010 and thrashed a political alliance to defeat the Left Front,” he said.
“She assured if Trinamul came to power the party’s separate statehood demand would be considered,” Mr Bhattacharya added.
In his article, Mr Bhattacharya also mentioned: “When the tripartite agreement was inked for setting up Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in 1988, Subash Ghising was made to drop the demand for Gorkhaland. By way of contrast, in two months after taking the reins of the state, when Miss Banerjee signed the tripartite GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Administration) Agreement, the demand for Gorkhaland was kept on record as the state government kowtowed before the pressure from her closest ally.”

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