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Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia sniffs CM hill ploy

Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia
Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia today said the chief minister made a tactical move to force the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to resume its statehood agitation before the Assembly polls with an intention to make it a campaign issue and consolidate anti-Gorkhaland votes.
Ahluwalia, who is campaigning for BJP candidates for the three-tier Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad polls, said: "The manner in which the chief minister is meddling in the affairs of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration is part of a tactical plan by her party. The idea is to create such circumstances in the GTA that the Morcha leaders are left with the only option, to resume the movement for a separate state."
He added: "There has been peace and amity in the hills for the past few years. But now, the chief minister and her party want the movement to resume so that they can refer to the agitation in their campaign before the Assembly polls, reiterate that Trinamul was against division of Bengal and attempt to consolidate the anti-Gorkhaland votes ."
The MP's statement came a couple of days after Morcha chief Bimal Gurung's comment that the chief minister was forcing them to resume the Gorkhaland movement.
Ahluwalia said today: "First of all, the chief minister and her party conceded Morcha's demand and signed the (GTA) accord where it was mentioned that the Morcha was not dropping the demand of Gorkhaland. Secondly, although the autonomous body was formed, transfer of departments to the GTA remained only on paper."
The MP added: "Thirdly, no funds were provided by the state to the GTA and it kept dilly-dallying on the issue of transfer of departments and allocation of funds. It also bypassed the GTA and took up some development projects on its own. All these are enough indications to prove that Trinamul always wanted to push the Morcha to a corner, which would prompt the party to think of reviving the movement."
The MP who was at a meeting between GTA representatives and Union home minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi recently, said: "The GTA representatives narrated the problems (to Singh) in detail. They have also sought the Centre's intervention and a tripartite meeting. Let me clarify, the BJP will not let Trinamul succeed."
Reacting to Ahluwalia's assertions, Binny Sharma, general secretary and spokesperson for Trinamul (hill) committee, said: "It is the BJP which is trying to make the hills unstable. The BJP leaders always have double standards and speak differently in the plains and the hills on the Gorkhaland issue. Our party supremo and chief minister has said we are against division of state."(TT)

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