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Mamata faces protest in Darjeeling

Posted on Jan 29, 06:10PM | IBNS

Darjeeling, Jan 29 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday faced protests by he Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters in the hills demanding separate Gorkhaland, as she was addressing a government meeting here.

"Darjeeling is an inseparable part of Bengal. Don't do anything that might result as harmful to the growth of Darjeeling," Banerjee said even as she faced protests during her ongoing visit to the hills where there is a renewal of demand for a separate state.

The GJM supporters demanded the separate land openly through their posters and slogans in front of Banerjee, and their constant agitations also upset the chief minister who had earlier boasted solving the problem of the hills.

"This is not a party programme. This is a government programme. This is not your party programme, this is not my party programme...you must consider this as government programme," said a visibly perturbed Banerjee.

The supporters did not calm down despite the request of their supremo Bimal Gurung.

Darjeeling, which was somewhat calm after Mamata Banerjee came to power, erupted again for a separate Gorkhaland, especially taking a cue from Telangana agitation.

According to Gurung, they signed the GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Act) with the demand of the separate state but the Mamata Banerjee government did nothing to honour the pact in her one and half years of rule.

"Mamata Banerjee is only making political statements. She said the hills are inseparable part of Bengal. People here are emotionally hurt by her words," Gurung said later.

Meanwhile GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri and some of the party members also met senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani to put up their demand for the separate state.

According to Giri, Advani has sought for a comprehensive case study to be submitted to him within 2-3 days.

Speaking to a Bengali news channel, Giri said that Advani is likely to support their plea.

In August last year the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) members had taken oath in the presence of Mamata Banerjee after the GJM won the elections to the GTA by winning all the 45 seats.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung also had taken oath as the chief executive of the GTA.

GTA was set up in 2011 after a tripartite agreement between the state government, Centre and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which is the principal political party now in the hills.

With relative peace returning to the hills, Banerjee has claimed success in resolving the problems of Darjeeling where the Gorkhas, who are ethnic Nepalese, are demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.