Having failed to drum up their support for her party’s candidate in Darjeeling, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Sunday put the blame on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha saying that the hill party did not respond to her call for a consensus candidate.
“Before the elections were announced, I called the Morcha thrice to put up a common candidate. Every time they replied saying “Charcha ho raha hai (we are having discussions)”. Then they sold the ticket to Delhi. They do it every time the elections are here. Don’t you have a good candidate here? Why do you have to bring somebody from Delhi?’’ she asked, in an apparent reference to BJP candidate S S Ahluwalia.
GJM has extended support to Ahuwalia.
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Mamata, the West Bengal chief minister, was addressing a rally at Mall in Darjeeling in support of her party candidate Baichung Bhutia. Without naming the Morcha, she alleged that a politics of “loot of public funds” was going on in the hills. “Except two or three, we transferred all the relevant departments under the state government to the GTA. But no work has been done. Now they are trying to set the hills on fire,” Mamata said.
Coming down on the ‘bandhs’ (shutdowns), Mamata said, “Here you close everything, the schools, the markets and you enjoy life elsewhere. Money is being squandered away.”
Asserting that she will not allow any division of state, she said her government was bringing in development in the hills with special packages. “We have set up a polytechnic college, an engineering college, a degree college, a project for drinking water at Darjeeling,” Mamata said.
Later, in Siliguri, she said the Trinamool Congress will emerge as the “No. 1 party in the country” after the elections and “we will decide who will become the prime minister.”
Meanwhile, Contacted, the GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said at least he never received any calls from the chief minister. “Whom did she call? At least, she did not call me. And so far as her allegation of looting of money is concerned, she should clarify whose fund is being looted,” Giri told Indian Express over phone.
Justifies opposing Teesta agreement
kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday sought to justify her opposition to the Teesta water agreement, saying it will deprive the state of its legitimate dues. “We did not want the Teesta agreement because that was opposed to the interest of the state. That agreement would have deprived north Bengal the water that it needed.”