Darjeeling: In a stark message to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha which is agitating for a separate state out of Darjeeling, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said in the presence of Bimal Gurung, GJM chief, that the hills were an indivisible part of West Bengal and that she wanted peace to reign in the region.
"Darjeeling is the heart of Mother Bengal," she said at a programme where Gurung was present.
"I want Darjeeling to remain in peace, failing which, tourism a major revenue earner for the hills will suffer. Let there be development in Darjeeling which is part of Bengal," she said announcing a slew of development projects including infrastructure development.
She said that development of Darjeeling should be the main focus and there should not be politics around it, while urging the people living in Darjeeling to remain alert against those trying to create provocation to disrupt peace.
"Conspiracies to strain our relation will not work. I want to build a bridge a between the hills and the plains and for that we will work together," she said asserting that she had a cordial relationship with the people of Darjeeling and the GJM.
Banerjee arrived in Darjeeling on Tuesday on a three-day visit.
She held a meeting earlier in the day with the GTA officials and attended a government function to announce development schemes for the region.
Banerjee`s meeting with the GJM leadership was considered crucial especially after the relation between the two had nosedived earlier in 2013.
The GJM had accused Banerjee of infringing on the rights of the GTA, a newly formed hill development body, and announced the renewal of its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of parts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts of north Bengal.
The relation between the state and the GJM had hit an all-time low following the chief minister`s assertion that Bengal would not be divided at a public function on January 29.
Gurung had on Tuesday attributed the January 29 development to a `miscommunication`.
"There was some communication gap which has been sorted out now. Our meeting (yesterday with the chief minister) was cordial and positive," he said.