Calcutta, Sept. 5: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today launched a scathing attack on the Centre and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for “trying to divide Bengal for political dividends”, adding that she would never allow any such move.
Referring to Tuesday’s talks between Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and a hill delegation seeking statehood, Mamata said at a news conference in Writers’: “Those at the Centre, especially the Congress, are trying to go behind the state’s back and divide Bengal. This is for the sake of one Lok Sabha seat. This will not be tolerated. The Centre must remember the federal structure and that the state cannot be kept out of these discussions.”
Mamata cautioned the Morcha against trying to connive with the Centre.
“The day I attended a programme before a crowd of 50,000 in Kalimpong, I found that they (the Morcha) held talks with the Union home minister in Delhi. Every time they go to Delhi, they come back with oxygen and try to intimidate and threaten. I have been noticing how their tone changes after every visit to Delhi,” she said.
Asked if she was referring to the “tone” of Morcha president Bimal Gurung, Mamata said: “I don’t take names of those who are not worthy of being named by me.”
The exchequer had suffered a loss of Rs 69.16 crore in August because of the agitation by the Morcha, the state government told Calcutta High Court today.
The government said the state had lost more that Rs 10 crore in the tea business because of the agitation.