The Trinamul Congress has said it will resist any attempt to divide Bengal, and that the party will “build” public opinion against any such conspiracy. The CPI-M, on the other hand, raised questions on the role of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and alleged that she had “joined hands with forces” which were in favour of separate states by splitting Bengal.

Political parties in Siliguri today reacted to reports that some BJP leaders had demanded division of the state and carving out a ‘Union Territory’ in north Bengal.

“Divisive forces calling for separation of north Bengal from Bengal will be resisted all out. The people will not tolerate this. We will build public opinion against this,” said senior Trinamul Congress leader and former minister Gautam Deb.

Veteran CPI-M leader and former Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya, also said they were against any such division of the state.

“We never supported any division of the state. Basically, there is not much difference between a separate state and UT. Such demands might encourage secessionist movements,” the former urban development minister said.

According to Mr Bhattacharya, the seven BJP MPs of north Bengal has not raised any issue in Parliament that is related to the development of the region. Darjeeling district CPI-M secretary, Jibesh Sarkar, on the other hand, said Miss Banerjee had trucked with forces that patronised demands for separate states.

“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said any conspiracy of the BJP over the splitting of the state will be thwarted. Only the Left prevented the division of the Hills in the mid 1980s. The Trinamul Congress-led state government has endorsed the Gorkhaland demand by signing the GTA Accord in 2011 where it was clearly stated that the GJMM was not dropping the Gorkhaland demand. It aligned with the KPP in the last Assembly elections, which did not drop the demand for a separate Kamtapur state, the Greater Cooch Behar People’s Association, which has been demanding a separate Cooch Behar state. She should explain this,” Mr Sarkar said.

Darjeeling district Trinamul Congress (Plains) president Ranjan Sarkar, however, there were no takers for the Left.

“The Left had destabilized the Hills and Jungle Mahal when Mamata Banerjee not only brought the situation under control, but also ensured peace to prevail there. People do not accept them,” Mr Sarkar said.