Jalpaiguri (WB): Firmly opposing the demand
for a separate state of Gorkhaland, Trinamool Congress chief
Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said her party would not allow any move
to divide West Bengal.
"Trinamool Congress will not allow any move to divide
West Bengal. I understand the problems of the people living in
Darjeeling hills. All problems can be solved through
dialogues," Banerjee told an election rally at Kalchini in
"An integrated development programme in the hill areas
is the key to reach a permanent and peaceful settlement," she
said without naming the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) which is
spearheading the movement for Gorkhaland.
Banerjee alleged that the CPI(M) wanted to break the
unity of the people of the hill areas and the plains by not
addressing their problems. "It is deliberately done for a long
period of time for electoral gain," she said.
"North Bengal has huge natural resources. It has forests
and mountains. The people are also intelligent, hard working
and peace loving. The area can easily be turned into India`s
Switzerland if government has vision and political will," she
Earlier, addressing another rally at Kumargram, Banerjee
accused the ruling Left Front government of destroying the tea
industry in North Bengal and said things would radically
improve if the TMC-Congress alliance comes to power.
"The once thriving tea industry in North Bengal has been
destroyed by the Left Front government during its 34-year-long
rule by adopting anti-labour policy," she said.
The government did not take any step to meet the just
demand of daily wage which has resulted in poor health and low
productivity among workers, she alleged.
"There is no arrangement for drinking water, medical
service and elementary education for the tea garden workers
and their families. Their demand for Hindi medium schools in
the garden areas has also been ignored," she said.
The CPI(M)-led government wasted all opportunities to
develop North Bengal. The region had inadequate electricity,
poor road connectivity, insufficient health-care facilities
and no industry, she alleged.
"The government could not even provide 15 day-work to
villagers in a year under the centrally sponsored MNREGA`s
100-day programme," Banerjee claimed.
"Things will radically improve and a resurgent Bengal
will emerge if the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance comes
to power in the state," she said.
Dubbing the LF government as a "bankrupt ministry", the
Railway Minister said there was no fund to provide salary to
teachers, para-teachers and other state employees.
"The government looted public money to sustain CPI(M)
cadres," she alleged.