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Centre failed to keep tea pledge: Trinamul

Minister Aroop Biswas in Birpara on Saturday

Alipurduar: State Trinamul leader Aroop Biswas and his party colleagues in Alipurduar district accused the BJP and the Centre for their failure to reopen the closed tea estates of the district as they spoke at a public meeting at Birpara, where the BJP had won at the last Assembly elections.

In 2016, the announcement made by BJP leaders and even by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had held a public meeting in Birpara that the Centre would facilitate reopening of the closed gardens, particularly the tea estates of Duncans Goenka Group, had brought them the Assembly seat, the second seat that the party had won in north Bengal.

"The Prime Minister and his party leaders had made false promises, standing here in Birpara that they would reopen the closed gardens. This is how they have won this Assembly seat but later, they failed to reopen even a single closed tea estate. Instead, it is the state that has taken the initiative. We could reopen four such gardens and within another fortnight, work will resume in two more gardens," said Biswas.

He was addressing a public meeting, held as a part of the Alipurduar district conference of the party.

Party insiders said as on date, Birpara-Madarihat block is the area where BJP has the highest number of followers in the district.

"In the block, votes of the tea population decide the result. We are focussing here and have selected Birpara as the venue for the conference. The panchayat votes are ahead and we want to oust BJP, using the same agenda of closed tea gardens," said an insider.

That Trinamul is trying to galvanise support in BJP's strongholds was evident as workers and of two tea estates of the Duncans Goenka Group were present at the meeting with their families.

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