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Govt bid to divide people, says Surjya

Siliguri, April 8: The leader of the Opposition in the Bengal Assembly, Surjya Kanta Mishra, today alleged that there was a dangerous situation in north Bengal as the Mamata Banerjee government was attempting to divide communities in the Darjeeling hills, Dooars and Terai.

Addressing the first major public meeting organised by the Left Front ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in Siliguri, the CPM leader said: “In every speech, she (Mamata) is thundering that Bengal can never be partitioned. On the other hand, she is trying to divide the communities in the region.”

“The situation is getting dangerous these days because of the manner in which the government and the Trinamul Congress are dealing with the hills, Terai and Dooars and attempting to create a rift among communities there,” he added. Mishra was referring to the state government’s decision to form separate development boards for the Lepchas and the Tamangs in the hills.

Over 10,000 people attended the meeting at Baghajatin Park here this afternoon.

The CPM politburo member said the hills were deprived of proper autonomy because of Mamata.

“When the Left Front was in power, I had, along with the then ministers like Asok Bhattacharya, visited Delhi several times to ensure that greater autonomy with constitutional validity was granted to the hills. However, after the new government assumed charge, she (Mamata) promptly decided to form the GTA Sabha without considering the legal nitty-gritty. As a result, the hills are deprived of appropriate regional autonomy with better powers as proposed by us,” said Mishra.

The leader of the Opposition also sought to scoff at the chief minister’s talk about “Bengal model” to counter “Gujarat model”. “If she wants to replicate the Bengal model — where there is no security for women and people in general and no hints of prosperity and development — at the national level, then the results would be disastrous.”