Underscoring the “deep ties” between people residing in the Darjeeling hills and plains of West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday cautioned against those “trying to sow seeds of discord” among them.
Banerjee, who was speaking at a programme in Kurseong to announce development initiatives, said her government would invest Rs 24,000 crore for North Bengal, and set up IT hubs in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.
“We have ties of blood among the people of plains and hills. This is a peaceful place... Some elements turn up before elections and try to sow seeds of discord among us. Don’t pay heed to them... They will never be accepted by people of the hills, ” the TMC supremo said, without naming anyone.
“Our children and youths of the hills need not go outside the state as IT and education hubs and other projects in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong will create opportunities for everyone,” the CM said.
Banerjee also exhorted industrialists to come to the hills and make investments.
She announced a Rs 75-crore grant for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) to continue the “development momentum” in the hills under the Trinamool Congress rule.
The chief minister said the state government has also started the process for giving ‘pattas’ (land deeds) to those who have been living on a particular piece of land for years.
“We have issued ‘pattas’ to 12,000 people in Kurseong,” Banerjee said.
Granting land rights has been one of the key demands of people in the tea-growing areas of the state.
Banerjee also said 590 vacant teaching posts in the hills will be filled soon.
The CM is on a six-day tour to the northern districts.
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