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Deb starts projects for Terai

Siliguri, Feb. 26: Minister Gautam Deb visited the Terai today to lay the foundation stones of three educational institutions and a Kishan Mandi which would be a market hub for farmers.

“Our government is opening a Hindi college in Banarhat of the Dooars which is the first Hindi college in the state. The second Hindi college has been planned at Hatighisa under Naxalbari block (around 25km from here) for the tribal and Gorkha people residing in tea estates and forest villages of the Terai, work of which has commenced today,” said Deb.

“We have also laid the foundation stone of another college which would come up in Ghoshpukur under Phansidewa block and an Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Khoribari block,” he added.

Trinamul, which could bring in four of the seven members of Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad to the party and also gain access to all four panchayat samitis under SMP, is striving hard to augment its support base in rural areas surrounding Siliguri.

“Tribals and Gorkhas form a considerable portion of the Terai vote bank and any party which succeeds in winning their support would have an extra advantage over its contenders in the Darjeeling Parliament seat,” said a source.

“Now that Trinamul has managed to gain confidence of the tribal population in the Dooars, the party is focusing on the Terai now,” the source added.

In Terai, there are two Assembly seats, Matigara-Naxalbari and Phansidewa, reserved for SC and ST candidates respectively.

These two, along with the Siliguri and Chopra seats in the plains and three hill seats, form the Darjeeling Parliament constituency. As of now, both the Assembly seats in the Terai have Congress MLAs.