Mamata Banerjee once supported smaller states – SS Ahluwalia

BJP candidate from the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency, Surinder Singh Ahluwalia, today sought to debunk Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s strident stand against the creation of a Gorkhaland state saying she had supported the idea of creating smaller states when she was a minister in the NDA government.

JP candidate Ahluwalia speaking to a resident in Naxalbari.
JP candidate Ahluwalia speaking to a
resident in Naxalbari.

“Mamata Banerjee does not support the creation of a separate state Gorkhaland now, but when she was a railway minister in the NDA government, she had fully backed smaller states’ creation,” said Ahluwalia, who is also the BJP’s national vice-president. He was interacting this morning with the press near the Gurudwara on Sevoke Road in Siliguri.

Ahluwalia, whose candidature is being supported by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, said the TMC had conducted its January 30 rally at the Brigade Ground in Kolkata where the GJM leadership had been invited. But now, the TMC has turned against the GJM just because the latter has decided to back the BJP in the general polls, he said. Countering Banerjee’s allegation about the BJP using money power to divide the state, Ahluwalia questioned the source of the TMC’s funds.

“One should find out from where the TMC is getting so much money. Simply wearing Hawaii chappals does not fetch money,” he said referring to Banerjee’s signature footwear.

Claiming he had once worked with Banerjee during his student politics days in the Chhatra Parishad, Ahluwalia said, “We know each other well.”  On the TMC’s Darjeeling candidate Baichung Bhutia, the BJP candidate joked about Parliament not being a football ground.

He further said, “Gautam Deb is said to be a great leader, but ironically, he does not even recognise leaders of Bengal. I was born in Bengal, but how can he say I am an outsider from Punjab?”

The BJP candidate later conducted a meeting at the Marwari Bhawan in Naxalbari Bazaar. He said, “If a poor farmer is caught by the police in a case of petty theft, he is put in jail, but why do Congress leaders roam freely even after they have been found guilty of being involved in multi-crore scams?”

Remembering the farmers who lost their lives during the Naxalite movement, Ahuluwalia said the poor farmers of Naxalbari have always remained deprived of their fundamental rights since independence and the state governments formed by the Congress, the CPM and the Trinamool have never paid attention to the matter.

He also accused the governments of the three parties of being responsible for West Bengal’s lag in socio-economic growth.


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