In less than a week before beginning of the crucial Assembly polls in the state, Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that she is completely opposed to the demand for a separate Gorkhaland.
“We will not allow any move to divide Bengal,” she said while addressing an election rally at Kalchini in Jalpaiguri district.
Ms Banerjee possibly had to clarify her stand on this thorny issue as the CPI(M) started accusing her of having a tacit understanding with the GJM, after the latter unilaterally declared that it would support Trinamul Congress candidates in the plains of Dooars and Terai in the Assembly polls.
In 2010, when Ms Banerjee had gone on a two-day visit to Darjeeling and held talks with GJM leaders, the CPI(M) had criticised her “ambivalent” stand on the Gorkhaland issue and said that she was fuelling trouble in the Hills.
“I understand the problems of the people living in Darjeeling hills. All problems can be solved through dialogues,” she added.
The division of the state is a very sensitive issue in Bengal politics because Bengalis are completely opposed to the separation of the Hills.
The CPI(M) has repeatedly been asking Ms Banerjee to make her stand clear on the subject. Turning the tables on the Left Front government, Ms Banerjee said: “They always try to divide the people of the plains and the Hills for electoral gains.”
Ms Banerjee addressed five huge rallies in Kumargram, Kalchini, Dhupguri, Falakata, Dhupguri and Mainaguri. At Kumargram, she blamed the Left Front for lack of development in North Bengal. “The region is full of natural resources and is so beautiful. When I had said that I wanted to make it into Switzerland, the CPI(M) had sniggered because they are inefficient and cannot do it themselves. But, I meant what I had said,” she added. Asian Age