Darjeeling, Apr.13: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday lashed out at the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) charging them of not choosing a local person as their candidate and instead supporting someone who has no roots in the hills. At the same time she justified her decision of choosing Baichung Bhutia as the candidate from Darjeeling.
“Baichung is a son of the hills, hence, that’s why I have chosen him, so you do not have to be afraid of everyone,” Mamata Banerjee said at a rally in Darjeeling.
In an apparent dig at the GJM and its chief Bimal Gurung, Mamata said, “she never believes in fighting and hence she asked for a common candidate, in reply we were told by the GJM that the party is discussing about the candidate and we were told repeatedly, even after making phone calls for three times but nothing has happened and after the poll dates were announced also they did not communicate about the name of the candidate. They took our courtesy as a sign of our weakness. We had given them a proposal that let there be a consensus candidate from Darjeeling but they refused to heed to our request. What have they done in return, each time they are supporting candidates you belong from Delhi. Didn’t they even find a single lad from the hills to contest from here as their candidate?.”
The West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also stated that she has formed a relationship with the people of the hills and hence she has visited the hills repeatedly.
Mamata at the same time said that she doesn’t believe in double standards and hence no bands would be tolerated in the hills.
“When they did a 45 day strike, they had shutdown shops and they left people without any food, I had strongly rejected such tactics of continuing any bandh culture. We do not believe in double standards. What we say in the hills, we say the same thing in the plains as well and vice-versa,” Banerjee said.
She also narrated a host of developmental projects which she had initiated in order to develop the district of Darjeeling , whether it is creating engineering colleges, ITI’s, or developing electricity and water supply. West Bengal chief minister also reiterated the fact that she hopes to create a second Darjeeling. She also highlighted the fact that her government has created councils for the development of Lepchas and she has ensured that 7000 men from the hills get jobs in the police.
Mamata Banerjee also reiterated the fact that she has given all the powers to the Gorkha Territorial Authority (GTA) leaving three or four subjects aside and still GJM was not able to function properly and that they are only thumping their chest for rights rather than doing any development for the hills. (ANI)