No division of West Bengal: Buddhadev

KOLKATA — Asserting that the Left Front government in West Bengal would never accept the division of the state, Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya on Wednesday said his government wanted a political solution to the Gorkhaland issue.


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Published: Thu 24 Mar 2011, 8:52 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:18 PM

“We want a political solution to the problems of the hills. Anarchy is going on in the hills for the last few months. We will never accept the division of the state,” said Bhattacharya .

The state’s Darjeeling district has been witnessing violent agitations for creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland since the last two years.

The movement is spearheaded by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) which has called several shutdowns in the hills between 2008 and 2010, severely hitting tourism - the mainstay of the region’s economy.

Bhattacharya slammed the Trinamool Congress for colluding with the Maoists in the state.

“The Maoists are another big problem in the state. We want to disarm them and defeat them. But unfortunately, the opposition party is colluding with them in an irresponsible way. They are helping the Maoists,” he said.

“In the last few months, there has been an atmosphere of intolerance and violence created by the opposition parties to capture power as early as possible. The administration has to act tough in order to control this,” said Bhattacharya .

Meanwhile, the process for the first phase of polls in the 54 assembly constituencies of West Bengal’s six northern districts will start on Thursday with the Election Commission sounding the bugle with the issue of notification.

The 54 assembly constituencies fall mainly in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda districts which will go to polls April 18.

Security has been beefed up in these districts. Police vigil has also been increased in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar as it shares international border with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. All eyes will be set on Darjeeling district as for the last two years it has witnessed violent agitations for creating a separate state Gorkhaland. The movement has been spearheaded by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leadership.

“We have started the process of sealing the international border partially. The border areas are under strict vigil,” Darjeeling district magistrate P.M.K. Gandhi said.

As many as 400 intimidators have been identified and 200 arrested as a preventive measure, he added.

Unofficially, the GJM leadership enjoys an unchallenged political grip over the Darjeeling district, especially in the hilly areas.

During the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Jaswant Singh won the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat with the support of the GJM.

But this time the GJM has kept its cards close to the chest and is yet to announce where the party itself will contest in the polls or will support any other party in an area. Darjeeling district has six assembly seats.—

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