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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Pulled up by BJP, Barla keeps mum on statehood call for now

Barla was accompanied by 10 members of Kumargram panchayat in Alipurduar district, who, according to him, had been subject to atrocities by TMC workers. Facing criticism from the BJP, Barla refused to talk about the issue anymore.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
June 25, 2021 9:15:12 am
North Bengal Keen contest between rising BJP, TMC organisation heftBJP MP John Barla (File photo)

A day after reiterating his demand for a separate state or Union Territory in north Bengal, BJP MP John Barla on Thursday appeared to have softened his stand and met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over post-poll violence.

“There was no discussion on the separate statehood demand. This was not raised before the governor. If I have to say anything on this then I will say it before our central party leadership. There are members of a panchayat who have taken shelter in my house escaping TMC atrocities. Today, I addressed this issue before the Governor,” Barla told reporters after his meeting with Dhankhar at the Raj Bhavan.

Barla was accompanied by 10 members of Kumargram panchayat in Alipurduar district, who, according to him, had been subject to atrocities by TMC workers. Facing criticism from the BJP, Barla refused to talk about the issue anymore.

On Wednesday, the BJP MP had reiterated his demand for a separate state in north Bengal despite being cautioned by the party.

Dhankhar, in a tweet, alleged that the 10 panchayat members were being forced to join the TMC.

“Alipurduars MP Shri John Barla and Kumargram Vidhan Sabha Nine Panchayat and one Zilla Parishad members called on Governor WB and pointed out harassment @WBPolice. Sought urgent intervention as police and administration @MamataOfficial were forcing them to join the ruling party (sic),” he tweeted.

“It is unfortunate that reports pouring indicate post poll agony and relentless opposition political conversion to the ruling dispensation with police @WBPolice and administration @MamataOfficial working in overdrive to so achieve unmindful of law and its consequences,” added the governor.

Barla has demanded a separate state on the account of “lack of development” in north Bengal over the years.

 

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