A Left Front delegation left on Friday for the areas in north Bengal where people from strife-torn Assam have taken refuge even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the Communist Party of India (Marxist) should not politicise the issue.

“The CPI(M) should not indulge in political opportunism,” she said, addressing a rally at Bolpur in Birbhum district.

Ms. Banerjee has been critical of the proposal to send the team as well as the statement issued by the Left Front Committee urging people there to maintain calm in the face of violence across the border. She alleged that the CPI(M) was resorting to “nasty politics” over the issue.

Reacting to her remarks, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra said he did not accord much importance to the “illogical comments of a quarrelsome person.”

“We are not saying that the situation is bad in areas in north Bengal, but there is no scope for the State government to be complacent.”

By sending a delegation, the Left Front aims to send a message of peace, unity and fraternity to the people of the region, Dr. Mishra added.

Ms. Banerjee reiterated that the government would take good care of the people who crossed over to escape the violence in Kokrajhar. It was the State’s social responsibility to provide shelter to those who had come to Alipurduar, Kumargram and other areas of north Bengal.

Minister for North Bengal Development Gautam Deb said over 5,000 people had taken shelter in Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts.

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