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Deb said Bimal decision came after meeting with Asok Bhattacharya, Swaraj Thapa

Minister Gautam Deb
Minister Gautam Deb today said Bimal Gurung's decision to resume the statehood agitation was a result of a meeting between Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya and Swaraj Thapa, the principal advisor to the GTA.

"Bimal Gurung's decision to resume the movement for statehood is the outcome of the recent meeting between Asok Bhattacharya and Swaraj Thapa. It is after this meeting that Morcha leaders sharpened attacks at the state and our party," Deb said. "We feel that Asok Bhattacharya is inciting the (Gorkha Janmukti) Morcha to resume its movement. People who are trying to encourage those who want division of Bengal will not succeed."

On September 22, Thapa had called on Bhattacharya and both leaders had termed the meeting "personal".

Yesterday, Bimal Gurung, had said the Morcha would resume the movement soon.

Bhattacharya said: "I have said Swaraj Thapa is known to me for the past 10-12 years. It was entirely a personal visit. We have already cleared our stand over Gorkhaland and said that we don't want any division of state. Trinamul has given recognition to the demand by signing the GTA accord, where it was mentioned that Morcha was not dropping its demand for Gorkhaland. This has encouraged them."

Today, Trinamul published its manifesto for the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad polls.(TT)

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