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8 Jul 2017

BJP slams CM for flare-up - Mamata not interested in ending Darjeeling strife, says Rahul Sinha

Sinha takes lunch at a BJP worker’s home in Siliguri on Friday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
TT, Siliguri, July 7: BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha today lashed out at chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the state government for not initiating any dialogue with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and other hill parties to restore normality to the Darjeeling hills.
Sinha, who was here today to carry out a booth level drive, said the state wanted the ongoing crisis to continue in the hills and so, it had not responded to the BJP's proposal for mediation.
"Seven years back, when a similar situation had developed in Darjeeling and in the foothills, the chief minister had taken the initiative to hold talks and somehow, she had managed to find a solution to the crisis. But this time, when the situation turned volatile again, she has not shown any interest in sitting across the table with Morcha leaders and other hill parties to restore normalcy in the hills. This is a clear indication that she is not interested in making a move and working for the improvement of the situation," the BJP leader said.
Today, Sinha visited Pramodnagar, a locality in ward 47 here. He went to five houses to elaborate on the initiatives taken by the Centre in the past three years and had a lunch with some of his party colleagues at the house of Bhagirath Roy, a mason.
After June 8, when violence sparked in the hills, this is for the first time that a prominent leader of the BJP visited Darjeeling district.
"We had also offered to act as a mediator so that talks are held between the Morcha and the state. But unfortunately, we did not get any response from the state so far," he said.
The BJP leader also accused the state of taking an "aggressive stance" and said it had further complicated situation in the hills.
"Law and order has completely deteriorated in the hills because of the state government's aggressive attitude. Given the current state of affairs, the state needs to soften its stance and try to address the grievances of the political parties of the hills as well as the common people. This can only create an atmosphere for talks and can help in restoration of peace and normalcy. But so far, there is no such indication from the state's side," Sinha said.

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