Hills are our pride, will not allow division of Bengal: Trinamool Chairperson at Darjeeling
Sending out a strong message against bifurcation of the state, Trinamool Chairperson Ms. Mamata Banerjee today said Darjeeling is an integral part of it and blamed certain local parties in the Hills of trying to play divisive politics without bothering about the development of the hills. She even addressed the people in Nepali and Hindi.
She highlighted the work the West Bengal Government has done for Darjeeling district and accused the GTA of not spending any fund for the development of the people. She said she has always visited the Hills whenever the people were in distress. Didi also asked people to shun the politics of bandhs and violence. She asked the youth to come forward for the cause of development.
Excerpts from the Chairperson`s speech:
My dear brothers and sisters of the Hills, I welcome you all for coming today. Peace prevails in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong. There is a surge of development here. I want my people in the Hills to remain in peace. I will not allow any group to instigate violence. Do not live in fear. No one can harm you.
We are ready to make any sacrifices for the happiness of the brothers and sisters of the Hills. No other CM ever visited Darjeeling as many times as I have. I have a bond with the local people. Some people imposed Bandhs in the Hills, thus taking away the livelihood of people.
I wanted to nominate an unanimous candidate for Hills. The other parties did not agree. I wanted to nominate a local candidate from the Hills. I have not brought a candidate from Delhi. When people of Darjeeling were starving during Bandhs, I sent my ministers with ration for you.
We do not have double standards. What I say in the Hills, I reiterate in the plains. We are committed to developing Darjeeling as a tourism hub. We have developed Lamahata as a tourist destination. We have started Bhanu Bhakta Academy. We are opening colleges, ITIs and polytechnic colleges at several places in the district. We have allotted Rs 500 crore to solve the drinking water problem in the Hills.
They always said they do not want an outsider as candidate. Which “bhoomiputra” have they fielded? A man from Delhi. We have hosted official celebration of Netaji`s birth anniversary in the Hills this year. We have formed development boards for Tamangs and Lepchas. We have demanded Bharat Ratna for Tenzing Norgay.
We formed the GTA soon after coming to power. We have allotted funds to the GTA. Why have they not started any development work? Every department of WB Govt has cleared projects for Darjeeling. Why has GTA not implemented them?
How will the State run if the Hills and plains are pitted against each other? We work for all people. We do not make distinctions. The youth of the Hills are very talented. Development is a continuous process. It will bear fruits in time.
Some parties are exploiting the sentiments of local people in the name of statehood. They want to shut down everything. Common people will suffer and they will prosper. There can be no development at the cost of the interests of common people.
Bhaichung also hails from the Hills. He has represented India in football. Vote for joraphool. Vote for Bhaichung. Vote for Trinamool.
As Railway Minister, I did a lot to improve railway services here. When Darjeeling was struck by earthquake, I was the one who rushed to the Hills. Whenever the Hills were in distress, I have stood by my brothers and sisters here. BJP had an MP from Darjeeling for 5 years. What have they done for you?
The Hills are our pride. I will never allow Darjeeling to be separated. I will fight for honour of Bengal. The youth need to come forward for the development of Darjeeling. Every vote for joraphool will mean more development for the Hills. This symbol stands for progress. We have promised a special package for Darjeeling in our Manifesto.
Let there be free and fair elections. Vote fearlessly. Vote for peace. Thank you all. My Government is always with you. I will come back soon.
Raha gulshan toh joraphool Pahar mein khilenge. Raha zindagi, toh Dilli bhi jeetenge.