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7 May 2017

TMC, GJM at loggerheads over minister's speech

Amitava Banerjee | 6 May 2017 11:43 PM | Darjeeling, West BengalA Bengal minister's statement at an election campaign rally has sparked a controversy leading to protests in the Darjeeling hills. The Trinamool Congress has alleged that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has distorted it and is giving a communal color to it.
Minister Indranil Sen addressing a TMC election campaign rally in Darjeeling on Friday had stated that he has got 32 steel boxes and ropes. He then asked the TMC supporters to pack the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha candidates along with Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri in the boxes after the May 14 Municipal polls and send them off from the district.
The GJM called for a protest rally on Saturday drawing the deduction that outsiders were trying to oust locals. A protest rally was taken out also which culminated with GJM General Secretary lodging a General Diary at the Darjeeling Sadar police station complaining that it was a hate speech and would incite tension. "By giving such a speech, minister Sen has violated a Supreme Court ruling which states that even during elections one cannot make statements in contexts to any race, religion, caste or creed. We will lodge a complaint with the Election Commission of India," stated GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri.
The TMC also filed a counter General Diary stating that the GJM is trying to flare up communal tension. "It was a political statement by minister Indranil Sen. He has in no way stated anything to hurt the sentiments of any race. It was directed at his political opponents. Such statements are common during election campaigns. We have heard political leaders including PM Modi making political statements of similar nature aimed at his adversaries a number of times.
"However, the GJM is presenting distorted versions of the statement to the public. They are giving it a communal color. Actually, the GJM has started to panic seeing the large turnout in the TMC rally on Friday hence they are trying to create tension," alleged N B Khawas, Working President, TMC Darjeeling district committee (Hills).
Khawas stated that the TMC does not adhere to the brand of politics subscribed by the GJM. "We have seen the politics of hatred, violence, social boycott, witch-hunt that the GJM follows. Madan Tamang was murdered in broad daylight in Darjeeling; GNLF leader Subash Ghising was driven out from the Hills; the dead body of Subash Ghising's wife was not allowed to be brought back to the Hills for cremation; there were posters asking people not to attend the funeral of former GNLF MLA Shanta Chettri's husband. Such is the brand of politics that the GJM adheres to," stated Khawas.
The TMC Working President further stated that the TMC wants to change the political culture of the Hills.

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