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Sad that Darjeeling voted for outsider: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File

Dubbing Darjeeling MP Raju Bista, who is from the BJP, as an “outsider”, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she was unhappy that the people of the hill district had voted against the Trinamool during the Lok Sabha poll. “I feel sorry when the son of the soil, Amarnath ji (referring to Amar Singh Rai, the Trinamool candidate), does not get votes, but an outsider spends a lot of money and gets the support,” she said.

Mr. Rai, a member of the Binay Tamang faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and supported the State’s ruling party, had suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Mr. Bista, who was supported by Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM. Mr. Bista won the Darjeeling seat with a margin of 4.1 lakh votes, the highest in West Bengal in the 2019 polls.

Speaking at the meeting at Kurseong, Ms. Banerjee said that she tried to convince people of the hills but they did not listen. “This is what is depriving the people of Darjeeling for almost a century. You don’t like me, don’t vote for me, but at least vote for the local party,” she said.

The Chief Minister argued that outsiders will not have the “feelings” for development of the region. Mr. Bista, even though he is from the Gorkha community, hails from Manipur.

Ms. Banerjee tried to assure the people of the hills that she will not come to grab their land. “ I will also not come to set things on fire in the name of National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Bill,” she said.

Only a day ago, on Tuesday, Mr. Bista had alleged there was an attempt on his life and had blamed the district administration for not taking adequate steps to provide him security.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 4:56:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sad-that-darjeeling-voted-for-outsider-mamata/article29780815.ece