Kolkata: With the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) renewing the demand for Gorkhaland in Darjeeling following the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) unanimously endorsing creation of a separate Telangana state,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday ruled out division of West Bengal and blamed the Congress for the agitation in the hills.
“Darjeeling is part and parcel of West Bengal. There is no question of division of West Bengal. We are united,we will be united and we will be together,” Banerjee told a press conference.
Apparently referring to the recent visit by a six-member GJM team headed by its General Secretary Roshan Giri to Delhi with the Gorkhaland demand,Banerjee alleged “I am sorry to say … I will write to Prime Minister whether it was a right step or not that some central ministers invited three or four Morcha leaders to Delhi some days back.
“A meeting was also held with them. They have reported back that some Central leaders have advised them to revive their movement in Darjeeling hills. There was also an assurance of according autonomy to them,” Banerjee said.
“A union territory without taking consent of the state? It is funny. Is it a lollipop in a child’s hand?”
Stating that peace had been prevailing in Darjeeling and would continue,she said “I request the Centre that has responsibility to see that peace is not disturbed in Darjeeling.”
The chief Minister also ruled out dissolution of the Gorkha Territorial Administration,the hill council set up under a tripartite agreement in Darjeeling to run the administration there,replacing an earlier one.
“Government will not dissolve the GTA which was formed after tripartite agreement and voting. We will continue to work with the GTA per commitment. Darjeeling brothers and sisters are my brothers and sisters.”
On GJM chief Bimal Gurung resigning as chief executive of the GTA yesterday,she said that it was his democratic right to do so.
She said that the resignation letter mistakenly addressed to former president K R Naryanan had been accepted and referred to the governor.
Referring to the GJM was observing a three day bandh in the Darjeeling hills to demand Gorkhaland,she said “Why will things will run jeopardising peace and normal life at someone’s whim?”
Referring to the GJM giving three days time from yesterday to tourists and school students to leave Darjeeling,Banerjee said “Nobody has the right to ask tourists and students in the hostels to leave the hills. Government will take firm steps to maintain peace in the hills at any cost.
“We are watching developments on a day to day basis,” she said.