The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 18 , 2017

In voting queue, hill unrest squabble

Pal argues with Ghosh (right) in the Assembly lobby

Calcutta, July 17: A war of words over the unrest in the hills today ensued in the Bengal Assembly between a Trinamul MLA and three Gorkha Janmukti Morcha legislators who had come to cast their votes in the presidential polls.

Pointing fingers at the Morcha's Saritha Rai, Rohit Sharma and Amar Singh Rai, who were waiting to cast their votes, Trinamul MLA Paresh Pal said: "You have come here to cast your votes after setting the hills ablaze. Go back to Darjeeling and cast your votes there. You are trying to malign our government."

Sharma politely replied: "Why don't you go to Darjeeling and say all this?"

But as Pal continued with his tirade, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh intervened.

Instead of calming down, Pal yelled again.

"The language you speak, you don't even deserve to be any political party's spokesperson. You are roaming freely because of Mamata Banerjee's doya (mercy)," the Beliaghata MLA told Ghosh.

Ghosh reacted, saying: "Please don't show off Mamata Banerjee to me."

Darjeeling MLA Rai later accused Pal of "childishness" and "lack of basic respect" for fellow legislators.

Sharma, the Morcha legislator from Kurseong, said: "It only showed the attitude of the ruling party towards our cause and the lack of sincerity in resolving the hill issue."

Sharma also lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India. Sources said the poll panel had sought the CCTV footage of the incident in the Assembly lobby.

According to Trinamul sources, chief minister Mamata Banerjee was "extremely displeased" with Pal's comments.

Firing death claim

The Morcha alleged late this evening that one of its cadres had died in police firing.

Sources said a clash had broken out between Trinamul and Morcha supporters in Mirik this evening. After the police arrested a Morcha worker, suspected Gorkhaland supporters pelted the cops with stones.

The Morcha alleged that the police resorted to firing, which killed Ashish Tamang.

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