March 26, 2014
Will rebuild Darjeeling as a global brand: Trinamool Chairperson at Gorubathan
Addressing the party workers at a meeting in Gorubathan, the Trinamool Chairperson Ms. Mamata Banerjee today said that she will rebuild Darjeeling as a global brand. Asking people to vote for Bhaichung Bhutia, she said that local leaders of the Hills only cared for power and never work for the people.
Citing how she rushed to the aid of the people in Darjeeling after the 2011 earthquake and Bijanbari bridge, she said no other leader has done that. She also questioned why local leaders who opposed Bhaichung Bhutia`s candidature, had to rely on a candidate from Delhi for elections.
Transcript of the Chairperson`s speech:
I welcome all the people from Hills hailing from different communities. We are all one. I am thankful that you all made it to this meeting today.
Bhaichung Bhutia is the best candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat. This is the first time we are contesting from the Darjeeling and that too with a good candidate. Please give him your full support. The Trinamool Congress symbol is Ghaser opor jora phul. It means Eki brinte duti kusum Hindu Musalman, Muslim tar nayan moni, Hindu tahar pran. It also means we are all one. It signifies that plains and Hills should co-exist in harmony.
I have lost count of the number of times I have visited North Bengal. All the people of Darjeeling know me and love me. I am in very good terms with the tea garden workers. There is nothing better than staying together.
There are some leaders who always create trouble. People will reject them. Hills are very close to my heart. The people here are very good. It is some political leaders who create all the trouble. Those who will try to crush me down will be crushed themselves. This is the first time I have come to the Hills asking for votes. After the earthquake in 2011, I was the first person to visit the region. We went to Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong. We visited the Hills after the Bijanbari Bridge collapsed. We gave financial aid to families of the victims.
I want Darjeeling to prosper. I wish to work for this place. Some local leaders often rush to Delhi at the drop of a hat. They do not have time to spend with the local people belonging to different communities. Ask them how many times they have visited Kalimpong or Kurseong. They visit Delhi with the plan of separating Darjeeling. Some people are just after power. They want to wear the crown. They do not work for the people.
I love the people of the hills. I want them to move forward. Darjeeling has immense potential. I want to rebuild Darjeeling as a global brand. We are working to promote Tea Tourism. We are helping the workers of the closed tea gardens. There is so much tourism potential. We have already developed Lamahata. Even Gorubathan has potential.
We have already created Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. Why are they still asking for Gorkhaland? First do some development. Can a baby straight away go for higher education without completing primary education? They can use harsh words against me. I will not reciprocate. Can a sister speak out against her brothers?
To speed up development in the region, we have set up a branch secretariat – Uttar Kanya – at Siliguri. We are carrying out development projects in every sector. ITIs are coming up at Mangpo, Gorubathan and Kalimpong. We have given Rs. 455 crore for drinking water projects in the area.
These local leaders do not work for people and bring outsiders from Delhi to contest elections. They shout so much for Gorkha identity, but could not find a single candidate from the Hills? I tried to call them thrice about the candidature but there was no response. That is when we chose Bhaichung. He lives in Bengal. He is from the Hills. He is an Indian.
If there is peace in Darjeeling, business will flourish, tourism will prosper. Even youth can concentrate on sports. Unemployed youths can get jobs if tourism flourishes, if people flock to Hills. That is possible if there is peace. We will not allow politics of bloodbath in Darjeeling. We want peace and prosperity for the people of Hills. Some people do not want me to come to the Hills. I am ready to sacrifice my life for the people of the Hills. I belong to both Hills and plains.
There are people who had asked for votes five years back and then left to never come back. I am here with you for 365 days. How much MPLAD fund has been spent in the Darjeeling region? I have asked Bhaichung if he becomes MP, he must spend MPLAD for opening schools, colleges and for development of people. Vote for us and see how we develop Darjeeling. The Hills are my heart. Kanchenjunga will shine again. Trinamool will be the decisive factor in forming the next government at the Centre. We have included a special package for Darjeeling in our Manifesto. We will not allow the politics of Bandhs.
Local leaders are busy eating Dilli ka laddoo. It is useless to vote for CPI(M)-Congress-BJP. The Centre is already taking away all our money. We don`t beg for alms. We ask for our rights. Hum honge kamyab.