West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Saturday claimed that the ruling Trinamool Congress is not willing to resolve the Darjeeling unrest to gain political benefit in the region by trying to create a divide between Nepali and Bengali communities. Ghosh, who earlier advocated a tripartite meeting between the Central and state governments and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders to resolve the unrest, alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government is trying to fuel “anti-Nepali sentiment” among the Bengalis living in north Bengal.
“The state government is not willing to discuss the Darjeeling unrest because they do not want to solve it. The issue gives them political benefit,” Ghosh told IANS. “They are trying to create a divide between the Nepali community and the Bengalis living in the hills. North Bengal is not a stronghold of Trinamool. That’s why they are trying to strengthen their base here by fuelling anti-Nepali sentiment,” he said. Taking a swipe at Chief Minister Banerjee, the BJP leader said that “it’s funny she had to depend on the army, which she once termed as extortionists, to save her face in Darjeeling”.
“The state police have no role in the hills now. They have been driven away to the plains. The army has been called in to maintain law and order,” Ghosh said. The picturesque Darjeeling district in the northern West Bengal is on the boil for more than two weeks over demands for a separate state of Gorkhaland. It has been facing an indefinite shutdown for the last 10 days.
While GJM, which is spearheading the movement for Gorkhaland, has repeatedly rejected any possibility of talks with the state government accusing it of “oppression and high handedness”, the state government maintains that it is ready for a discussion after the situation in the area becomes normal.