Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has declared the shutdown in Darjeeling demanding a Gorkhaland state illegal, on Tuesday hit out at the GJM saying its "political gimmickry" was harming everybody.
"The ongoing political gimmickry is harming everybody. Some of the damage may be irreversible," she said and announced she would visit Darjeeling in the first week of September at the invitation of the Lepchas.
"Thousands engaged in tea, tourism and travel, industries ? all are badly affected," she said in a Facebook post.
Noting that students in the hills could lose a year, she said that tea exports from Darjeeling might fall and be possibly replaced by tea from other countries.
"Politics is fine. But it should facilitate development, not impede it. The political mandate is there. It should be used for the benefit of the people of Darjeeling. It should not harm them," she said.
Promising that her government was fully committed to deliver services to the people of the hills, Banerjee said, "Then why these agitational programmes every six months? Why this `political pollution`? As a result of it, development is suffering, people are suffering, Darjeeling is suffering."