Updated: August 22, 2021 7:11:11 am
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Saturday extended his support to the demand for separate states in north Bengal and former Maoist-hit Junglemahal, and blamed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s “misrule” for it.
Addressing mediapersons in Jalpaiguri along with party MP and Union minister John Barla, who had first made such a call, Ghosh said, “Today if people in Junglemahal and north Bengal want separate states then Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will have to take responsibility for it. They have to give answers why even after 75 years of Independence there has been no development in north Bengal. Why do the people have to go outside Bengal for medical treatment, higher studies and jobs? Why ain’t there enough hospitals, schools, colleges and factories? The situation is same in Junglemahal. Why do women there have to sell sal leaves for two-square meals a day? Why do people from there go to Jharkhand, Odisha and Gujarat for work? Now if people have made such demands (separate states in Jangalmahal and north Bengal) then it is not unjust.”
On June 13, Barla demanded a separate state or a Union Territory in north Bengal, saying that the region had lacked development over the years. On June 21, BJP MP from Bishnupur Saumitra Khan demanded that Junglemahal should be made a separate state. After facing criticism from the TMC and a section of their party leaders, both leaders had softened their stand in the matter.
Reacting strongly to Ghosh’s remarks, senior TMC leader and state minister Firhad Hakim said the BJP believes in the “divide-and-rule” policy.