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BJP caution

Siliguri, April 15: A BJP national executive committee leader, asked about Gorkhaland today, skirted the question by saying that the issue “might be the principal agenda of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha”, but the BJP’s key plank was development.

“Gorkhaland might be the principal agenda of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is one of our allies. Our key agenda, however, is not the formation of a separate state but development. Narendra Modi, our prime ministerial candidate, has been speaking only about development and not the separate state,” Tulsi Aggarwal, the election in-charge of the BJP in Bengal, told a news conference.

The BJP, like all other parties, needs to get votes in the plains Assembly segments where most people are opposed to Gorkhaland.

Keeping this in mind, Mamata had requested at her rally in Siliguri two days ago that plains people must not split the vote and only choose Trinamul.

She had also appealed to businessmen in Siliguri, speaking in Hindi, reminding them how the strikes and bandhs in the hills could affect their business.

“The BJP has come here to create division and not to unite. Please don’t vote for the BJP because if your business is affected, the BJP will not be able to help you,” Mamata had said on Sunday.

Reacting to Mamata’s charge, Aggarwal said: “It is interesting that Trinamul leaders who could oust the CPM from power after 34 years are targeting the BJP now.”