Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today requested political parties in the Hills to stay united and not fight with each other, but instead work for the people for about 10 years, maintaining that it was the way to take the Hills forward.
The CM was speaking at Chowrasta here today where she distributed widow pensions and various government services to new applicants, while also inaugurating various projects. “I met four political parties yesterday and had come here to meet and talk to them. I want to request political parties here that they stay together and united. I ask that you promise me that you all will not fight for 10 years, but will only do good work and development. Then see where Darjeeling will reach, along with Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik,” Miss Banerjee said.
The CM had yesterday met leaders of the Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha, Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha, Hamro Party and TMC (Hills) at Richmond Hill here. “The people come first, then a political party. We run a political party so that we can first work for the people and then think about politics later,” she said. The CM also said that tourists flocking in large numbers with hotels packed till June was a sign that the “hills were smiling.”
“The economy has gone down, and we should lift it up,” she said, reiterating that elections to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), panchayat and the three other hill municipalities would be held, and that the elected representatives should do good work. She also took potshots at the BJP, maintaining that whenever elections came, a party comes and promises different things, but is not seen after that.
“Laddoo (sweet) from Delhi is not needed, but laddoo from Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Mirik and Kurseong is needed here. One party in the country promises different things, but then gives a different gift. Whatever I have promised I deliver, like the student credit card, kisan scheme, but when it comes to Delhi they are only increasing the prices of things like diesel, kerosene and cooking gas. What will the people eat?” she said.
Miss Banerjee also alleged that the BJP government did not care about the students that had returned from Ukraine, as her request for their permission to allow students in Bengal returning from Ukraine be allowed to study in the state had been turned down. “It is the same with the request for holding three-tier panchayat elections in the hills. It has been 5 to 6 years now, but they have not done anything about it,” said the CM.
In her speech, Miss Banerjee urged women folk in the Hills to come forward, maintaining that all problems would be solved if they do that. “I want my mothers and sisters to come forward and take leadership. The country where women are happy, the place becomes good,” she said. Her speech today mostly concentrated on the different schemes launched by the state government, with some benefits also distributed to beneficiaries, among which included the land patta, widow pension, student credit card and artisan credit card.
The different projects inaugurated by her included a two-storey community hall at Yangmakum in Kalimpong built at a cost of Rs 74.02 lakh and a similar one at Todey-Tangta in Gorubathan. She also inaugurated and urban PS Building along with Barracks in Kurseong built at a cost of Rs 313.85 lakh, and four riverside cottages at Jamuney made for Rs 393.1 lakh.
A bridge at Singla road in Pulbaazar made at a cost of Rs 463.75 lakh and a 1.2 km road at Gielle worth Rs 105.74 lakh were also inaugurated by the CM today. Also, a Rs 97.2 lakh road at Shanti Dhura in Mungpo and a three-storey Teesta Bridge Higher Secondary School built at a cost of Rs 176.13 were inaugurated. A Rs 111.76 lakh Minority Hostel at Jorebunglow was also launched today.