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Fresh agitation in Darjeeling nothing short of bandh: WB minister

Last Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 19:55

Siliguri: A West Bengal minister on Friday criticised the announcement of a fresh five-day agitation from August 19 in the Darjeeling hills and said it was nothing short of a bandh.

"There is no difference between the bandh and janata andolan. It is nothing but a bandh and the state government will take steps to ensure normal life in the hills," North Bengal Development minister Gautam Deb told a news agency.

Stating that he hoped the people of Darjeeling would not support such a `whimsical` decision, Deb said "We will appeal to the people to reject the call to forcibly disrupt normal day-to-day life."

On the all party meeting in Darjeeling called by the GJM where the formation of a new body, Gorkhaland Join Action Committee to carry forward the movement for Gorkhaland was announced, Deb claimed that representatives of BJP and Congress had attended it.

"It is unfortunate that representatives of two national parties, Congress and the BJP, have attended the meeting," he said.

He said that Darjeeling DCC president K B Chetri besides Congress leader from Kurseong Chabi Rai and others attended the meeting as also from the BJP in support of the Gorkhaland movement by the GJM.

"Straightway, these parties are supporting them and taking part in the movement seeking to divide Bengal," Deb said.

He demanded that WBPCC president Pradip Bhattacherjee take action against Chetri, a two-time party MP and others for attending the meeting.

He also said, "This is not an all-party meeting. It is Bimal Gurung (GJM president)`s meeting."

Referring to GNLF leader Subhas Ghising who had resigned from the now defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council in 2008 after heading it for nearly two decades, but since banned from entry to Darjeeling by the GJM, Deb said, "The problem is in Darjeeling and the previous Left Front government had allowed only one voice to dominate.

"We are trying to restore a democratic atmosphere in Darjeeling," he said.


First Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 19:55

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