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CM Mamata to visit Darjeeling, GJM refused comment

Hill TMC leader Binny Sharma
West Bengal chief minister Mamata banerjee to visit Darjeeling on july 16 and stay for a couple of days. This will be her first climb uphill after her party’s defeat in Darjeeling in the general election at the hands of the BJP-Gorkha Janmukti Morcha combine.
Senior hill TMC leader Binny Sharma today confirmed of Banerjee’s visit. “The chief minister will be in Darjeeling for two days on July 16 and 17. She will hold meetings with district administration officials and other local bodies during her stay here,” he said.
When asked whether there was a specific reason for the chief minister’s visit, Sharma said, “As chief minister, she can come and go wherever and whenever she wants. One must remember she has visited the hills on more than 20 occasions and people here look forward for her visits.”
Much water has flowed in the Teesta since her last visit to the hills on April 13 when she had campaign for party candidate Bhaichung Bhutia.
The district administration, meanwhile, did not seem too eager to elaborate on the chief minister’s two-day itinerary.
“I did receive a call over phone from Kolkata saying the chief minister will visit the hills on July 16. However, I am yet to receive an official communication of her itinerary,” claimed Darjeeling district magistrate Puneet Yadav.
According to hill TMC sources, Banerjee will meet members of the Aastha Hawkers’ Association and representatives of the Tamang community. “Her full itinerary has not been confirmed as yet, but we have come to know the chief minister will meet various local organisations. In all likelihood, she may also officially announce the formation of the Tamang Culture Development Board and inaugurate tourism projects,” said the sources, adding the chief minister may also inaugurate the Balason drinking water project that has remained stalled for several years.
The hawkers’ market complex, proposed to come up at Chowrastha and for which the foundation stone was laid by the Banerjee on January 23, has met with opposition from town residents and the Darjeeling municipality.  As for the Balason water project, work is nearing completion with the laying of pipes in some areas in progress.
Meantime, GJM leaders refused to comment on the chief minister’s visit.
“We have not received any official communication and are not aware of her visit,” said GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang.
The chief minister will head back to Kolkata on July 18 after a short halt in Sukna to meet party leaders.(EOIC)

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