SDF slams Mamata over Darjeeling unrest
(3 months ago)
Gangtok/Kolkata, Feb 8 : Condemning West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's allegation that Sikkim was fomenting trouble in Darjeeling, the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) on Thursday warned it will take up the issue in the "right quarters".
"We condemn her allegation, and this is serious and we will take this up in the right quarters. The Darjeeling agitation for Gorkhaland is a result of local issues within the state. It has nothing to do with Sikkim," it said in a press release.
The SDF asked Banerjee to focus on solving the issues in Darjeeling rather than blaming Sikkim. "...She ought not be distracted in this manner."
Refuting Banerjee's claims that the unrest in Darjeeling acted as a boon to Sikkim tourism, the party said: "Whenever there is an agitation in Darjeeling, the main lifeline to Sikkim, National Highway 10, is affected. It is closed and many Sikkimese and other tourists suffer because of this.
"Sikkim and Sikkimese want that the issues related to the people of the Darjeeling Hills be sorted out amicably within the Constitution of India and in a peaceful manner. This will bring peace in this very strategic region."
During her visit to strife-stricken Darjeeling after eight months, Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that people from Sikkim dole out cash to fuel the agitation for a separate state of Gorkhaland and keep the disturbance alive in Darjeeling.
She said neighbouring states like Sikkim and a few foreign countries were eager to tarnish Darjeeling's image as a world famous tourist destination.