“Darjeeling is part and parcel of West Bengal” and the “question of division of the State does not arise,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asserted here on Wednesday. The government would not dissolve the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), she said.
Her remarks come a day after Bimal Gurung, president of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), resigned as the chief executive of the GTA — the regional autonomous body that started functioning from August 2012.
“The GTA was formed as a tripartite agreement between the Government of India, the State government and the GJM. We will keep the GTA working as per our commitment,” she said.
A “few Central Ministers” were disturbing peace in Darjeeling, she said adding she had written to the Prime Minister whether such an action on the part of his Ministers was justified. She alleged that some GJM leaders were asked to go to New Delhi earlier this month and told to start a movement and that the Centre was willing to concede the status of Union Territory to the region. “The Centre has a responsibility not to disturb peace in the Darjeeling hills. It has remained peaceful for the past two years and it will remain so in the years to come,” Ms. Banerjee said. The Centre’s move to form a separate State of Telangana had political motives. Though the Congress had promised it in its election manifesto, it took the decision only when “elections are knocking at the door.”
She took strong exception to the GJM leadership asking students and tourists to return from the hills. “None can speak like this. The law will take its own course.” If someone tries to create mischief, the State government will tackle the situation with firm hands. It is easy to divide and difficult to keep united,” she said adding that if in various parts of the country such demands were raised, the nation would divide into pieces.