September 27, 2010
Mamata gets a hearty welcome
The public meeting was cancelled, party flags and banners were withdrawn, but Trinamool chief Ms. Mamata Banerjeeâ€™s mission to the Hills was a hit. Everywhere she went, crowds poured out on to the street to receive her. She interacted with common people and met representatives of local parties, including GJM, sending out signals that she now has her eyes fixed on the Hills. The warm reception she got on her way to the Hills said it all. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and rival Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League welcomed her with open arms. Right from Darjeeling More on the outskirts of Siliguri, common people thronged the road to welcome the leader. Even in towns en route, like Kurseong and Ghoom, she received a hearty welcome. Then there were receptions at various stations of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. At Darjeeling station, the GJM town committee welcomed her with a khada and shouted slogans. At Circuit House, she was presented a guard of honour by Darjeeling Police. Near Darjeeling station, the Trinamool supremo got off her car and walked with the crowd â€” her usual way of forging bonds. She looked overwhelmed. “At least, Mamata has taken the trouble to come to Darjeeling. Others donâ€™t bother to come,” a senior GJM leader said at Darjeeling Gymkhana Club in the morning. Besides parties like GJM (which wants Ms. Banerjee to understand its viewpoint) and ABGL (which wants her to help restore peace), representatives of civil society sought help on issues like tourism. Fed up of violence and bandhs, common people want to know if she can do something to bring back normalcy.
Image Courtesy: The Times of India