CHIEF MINISTER Mamata Banerjee’s decision to form a new district of Kalimpong has triggered the demand for a new Siliguri district — voiced by locals and the BJP. “Siliguri is the most important town in North Bengal and even today, it is only a sub-divisional headquarters. If Kalimpong can be a separate district, Siliguri also deserves to be a separate district,” said Abhijit Roychoudhury, general secretary of BJP’s Siliguri unit.
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The arguments posed by those making the demand take into account Siliguri’s population, 15 lakh according to the 2011 census, when compared to the Kalimpong’s population of just 3 lakh and the fact that it is made out of four Assembly segments — Siliguri, Matigara-Naxalbari, Phansidewa and Dabgram-Fulbari.
“We welcome the chief minister’s decision to make Kalimpong a new district. At the same time, we would like to appeal to her to consider our demand also and create a separate district of Siliguri,” Sunil Sarkar, president of Brihattar Siliguri Nagarik Mancha, told mediapersons. Members of the outfit, set up around five years ago, also sought an appointment with Mamata during her ongoing trip.