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Bardhan mocks at Mamata`s claim of Darjeeling smiling

Mocking at West Bengal CM`s repeated claim that "Darjeeling is smiling", CPI leader AB Bardhan alleged that TMC had exploited the Darjeeling issue.

Kolkata: Mocking at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s repeated claim that "Darjeeling is smiling", CPI leader A B Bardhan on Thursday alleged that Trinamool Congress had exploited the Darjeeling issue to make immediate gains in the initial days after coming to power.

"We have heard that Darjeeling is smiling. But now we can`t see the smile. We can just see the angry eyes. The hills are now crying. The Trinamool Congress during its days in the opposition had exploited the Darjeeling issue to garner support of the GJM to corner the Left Front," Bardhan said.

Even after coming to power, the matter in which GTA was clinched showed that it was all to garner immediate gains, he said.

A day after GJM chief Bimal Gurung threatened to launch a `militant` stir for Gorkhaland, the chief minister today called for keeping West Bengal united and countered Gurung`s charge that the state was adopting a divide and rule policy for the hills.

"We support autonomy for the hills, but we don`t support division. It should be given in such a way that no separatist slogan about cessation is heard there," said Bardhan.

On the two-day country-wide general strike called by CITU, INTUC, AITUC, BMS and Left-backed banking unions opposing financial sector reforms, Bardhan said, "We are getting tremendous support on this issue. Many other trade unions have also proposed to join us. It is strike against anti-people policies of Central government, never before there has been such unity among trade unions of this country."

Asked whether the Left trade union would welcome Trinamool Congress`s labour arm INTTUC`s proposal to join the strike, in the wake of Banerjee`s opposition to strike, Bardhan said, "Any trade union which wants to join the strike is free to do."