Siliguri, Sept. 2: Former CPM minister Asok Bhattacharya today accused chief minister Mamata Banerjee of indulging in “partisan politics” in Darjeeling and dividing the hill communities by forming the Lepcha development board.
“It is unfortunate that the chief minister has resorted to partisan politics and she is trying to divide the hills. By forming the development board for the Lepchas, she has created confusion and differences among other indigenous tribes in the hills and in north Bengal as a whole,” Bhattacharya said.
“If a separate board can be formed for the Lepchas, what about other tribes like Yolmo, Sherpa and Limbu, all of whom reside in the hills. We are not against the development of the Lepchas but people from other tribes would feel deprived,” he added.
“The entire plan to form the separate board and the strategy of dividing the communities in the hills is for Trinamul’s own political interests and a single Parliament seat.”
Bhattacharya’s comment came an hour before Mamata’s arrival at Bagdogra airport.
The former minister alleged that Trinamul has resorted to “coercion politics” in the region.
“Trinamul leaders had resorted to coercion to bring in workers and leaders of other parties to their party. We condemn such politics, which is unethical and we would soon campaign against it,” he said here today.
“This trend (of luring other party workers to Trinamul) is visible after the rural polls, particularly ahead of forming the boards in all three tiers of the panchayat system. Eyeing the civic polls to be held on September 21, they are consistently organising attacks and threatening workers and leaders of other parties.”