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regular-article-logo Sunday, 16 June 2024

Cooch Behar: Self-styled chief of KLO Jibon Singha's video clip stirs identity politics pot

Singha criticises Bengal government and praises some BJP legislators of north Bengal and Narendra Modi government at Centre

Our Correspondent Cooch Behar Published 01.07.23, 04:48 AM
Self-styled chief of Kamtapur Liberation Organisation Jibon Singha.

Self-styled chief of Kamtapur Liberation Organisation Jibon Singha. Twitter

Jibon Singha, the self-styled chief of Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), purportedly came up with a video clip on Friday, causing Trinamul Cooch Behar leaders to accuse the BJP of playing identity politics in a “different mode” to woo Rajbanshis ahead of rural polls.

Singha, in the video, criticised the Bengal government and praised some BJP legislators of north Bengal and the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

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Singha, who entered Assam from Myanmar in January this year in response to the Centre’s call for peace talks, is believed to be staying in the BJP-ruled state.

Singha said the Trinamul government and chief minister Mamata Banerjee are against Rajbanshi aspirations.

“Mamata Didi said she will give blood but not let Bengal be divided. She doesn’t understand the plight of the Kamtapuri people and wants to douse their aspirations for a separate state. People should not listen to these Calcutta-based parties and Calcutta-based leaders coming here for the (panchayat) elections,” he said.

The KLO leader said the Congress government included the erstwhile princely state of Cooch Behar in Bengal. "We were deceived," he said. On the Left regime, he said Rajbanshi youths were tortured then.

Singha praised BJP legislators like John Barla, Nisith Pramanik, Shankar Ghosh, Bishnuprasad Sharma and Malati Rava Roy, who underscored the statehood demand raised by Rajbanshi and Gorkha outfits.

“The chief minister didn't understand what they (the BJP leaders of north Bengal) tried to say. The Centre has welcomed and appreciated my decision (to join peace talks) while the state government is vehemently opposing us,” he said.

Such remarks by the KLO chief made Trinamul leaders accuse the BJP of orchestrating the video ahead of rural polls for Rajbanshi votes.

“The BJP is playing identity politics again. This time, they found Jibon Singha. He simply read a script of the saffron camp. It is unfortunate that a political party has to use the leader of a proscribed terror outfit to speak for them,” said Parthapratim Roy, former MP and spokesperson of Cooch Behar Trinamul.

Nikhil Ranjan Dey, the BJP MLA of Cooch Behar South, mocked the charge. “The BJP doesn’t need Jibon Singha to make statements for it. Our party, however, is always in favour of peace talks and wants him (Singha) and his associates to return to the mainstream,” he said.

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