We don't support separatists, says Mamata
Siliguri: Ahead of her meeting with
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) top leaders tomorrow on the
Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), West Bengal Chief
Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said she did not support
"We do not want any division (between the hills and
the plains). But we want unity among the hills and the plains.
I do not support separatists," Banerjee said while
inaugurating the week-long North Bengal Utsav here.
GJM has threatened to revive the agitation for Gorkhaland
state if GTA was not set up by March 27.
Banerjee, accompanied by 12 ministers, held a review
meeting with senior officials during the day to take stock of
development work in north Bengal.
While inaugurating the festival, she unveiled
'Banga-Samman' award and announced a slew of projects for
development of north Bengal districts.
Footballer Baichung Bhutia, poet Joy Goswami, thespian
Bibhas Chakraborty, and a few others were the first recipients
of 'Banga-Samman' award instituted by the state government.
In July last year, soon after coming to power in May, the
government had instituted another award 'Banga Bibhushan' and
nine eminent persons were the first recipients.
"We are preparing a master plan for development of
tea, tourism and cottage industry for the development of North
Bengal," Banerjee said.
She said she had recommended to the Centre to identify
Darjeeling and Coochbehar as backward districts in the state.
Banerjee inaugurated nine projects for the region.