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CM’s cold behaviour towards Lepchas, Tamangs leaves officials baffled

CM Mamata Banerjee cold behaviour towards Lepchas,Tamangs
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘changed attitude’ and the seemingly lukewarm response to people of the Lepcha and Tamang communities during her very recent tour of north Bengal has baffled some officials who were with here during her entire trip.
Paying no heed to protests from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief Bimal Gurung and various other quarters, the CM had desperately formed development boards for the Tamangs and the Lepchas before the Lok Sabha elections, rubbing shoulders with leaders of the two communities in events in the Hills. However, she refused appointments to a group of Lepcha people, including the Kalimpong Trinamul Congress youth president Bhupendra Lepcha, in Mongpong in Kalimpong yesterday, while she also refused to meet a team of Tamang people this time around.
The officials touring with Miss Banerjee were taken aback by her ‘changed attitude,’ while she was also least interested in holding any event related to her own Hill affairs department.
Officials had expected that the CM would hold a meeting with members of the Lepcha Development Council and some GTA members after she held two meetings with members of the Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) at Madarihat Tourist Lodge on 5 June, after she failed to trek around Buxa Fort due to bad weather conditions.
However, in the last two days, she did not express her desire to visit any place or call meetings with members of any board she had formed and with people belonging to the Tamang and Lepcha communities, who had been anxiously waiting for her consent for a meeting at the gates of the Mongpong Forest Guest House where she had been staying since 6 June.
No official could tell what was in her mind, but a section of the officials, who heaved a sigh of relief after her departure to Kolkata on 7 June, said: “Madam is still upset over the defeat of Baichung Bhutia, a star candidate of the party, in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat against the GJMM-backed BJP candidate, despite her continuous effort to prepare a base in Darjeeling Hills with people of different communities including the Lepchas and Tamangs.”
A senior Left leader in Siliguri said the CM’s ‘use and throw’ policy is now being exposed.
“She had made a tie-up with the GJMM and used its leaders to win seats in the Assembly elections in the region. Later, she wanted to beat the GJMM to bring them under control by winning the Darjeeling LS seat with the help of a section of communities including Lepchas and others,” he said.
Visibly upset, Trinamul youth leader Bhupendra Lepcha, who said he had came to Mongpong yesterday to convey his thanks to the CM for building 1,000 houses in Kalimpong for the Lepcha people, returned when Miss Banerjee refused an appointment.
However, Mr Lepcha did not show any disrespect to the CM when he left Mongpong. “We are leaving the place for lunch. We will be back soon,” he said. However, he and his associates did not return.(sns)

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