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20 Feb 2017

TMC plan to contain upgrade delay fallout

Mirik town
BIRESWAR BANERJEE, TT, Siliguri, Feb. 19: Trinamul leaders in Mirik block of Kurseong division today decided to start a campaign highlighting the state government's development initiatives for the area and alleged corruption by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
The decision was taken as Trinamul leaders apprehend that the Morcha might exploit the delay by the state government in upgrading Mirik to a subdivision as announced by chief minister Mamata Banerjee earlier.
The leaders said although Mamata had kept her promise of upgrading Kalimpong subdivision to a separate district, the chief minister seemed to have forgotten her promise with regard to Mirik.
The delay, the Trinamul leaders said, might prompt other political parties, particularly the Morcha, to launch a campaign against the ruling party.
"We are upset that the chief minister did not officially declare Mirik as the new hill subdivision during her recent trip to Kalimpong. Had she announced that, it would have been easier for us to start a campaign, highlighting the decision and focusing on development projects of the area. We have learnt that she might visit north Bengal again next month and then, she can make the announcement," a Trinamul leader said today after a meeting of Darjeeling district Trinamul (hill) committee.
Mirik, around 50km from here, is surrounded by tea gardens and orange orchards.
In the last polls to Mirik municipality, the Morcha had won all nine wards.
"The state election commission can declare the dates of polls to four civic bodies in the hills any day. That is why we had a meeting in the party office in Mirik and decided to launch our campaign from Monday," Rajen Mukhia, the president of hill Trinamul, said.
"We will highlight an array of development works carried out by the state, along with the corruption of Morcha leaders in our campaign. Our main focus will be inclusion of some of the surrounding areas of Mirik town in the civic body. There are longstanding problems like poor disposal of waste, lack of land rights of the residents and lack of any beautification of the lake and its adjacent areas. We will pick up these issues and categorically make it clear to people that if Trinamul comes to power, these problems would be resolved," he said.

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