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18 Jul 2017

Trinamul case threat to Asok .. row over stopping of hill bound vehicles carrying food grains and others

Ranjan Sarkar  & Ashok Bhattacharya
TT, Siliguri, July 17: Trinamul leaders at Siliguri Municipal Corporation today trained guns on mayor Asok Bhattacharya for his recent comments against chief minister Mamata Banerjee and threatened to file a case if the CPM leader failed to prove his allegation.
Last Saturday, Asok had alleged that vehicles ferrying food to Darjeeling and other parts of the hills were being stopped in Siliguri as per the chief minister's instructions.
Ranjan Sarkar, the leader of the Opposition at the SMC, said: "We condemn the mayor's remarks. He is inciting people against Trinamul by raising false allegations against the chief minister and the state. There was never any instruction from the state's side that the hill-bound vehicles carrying foodgrain and other items should be stopped.
"We want the mayor to prove his allegation. Else, we will file a suit against him for trying to malign the chief minister, the state and our party."
Sarkar added that Trinamul would soon hold a rally in Siliguri to apprise the residents of the mayor's "baseless allegations".
The mayor, however, sounded unperturbed.
"The state minister for food and supplies (Jyotipriyo Mallick) has given statements to the media that unless the situation becomes normal in the hills, any vehicle ferrying foodgrain cannot be send there. It is very clear that without taking consent from the chief minister, he cannot make such decision. This is what I have said," Asok said over phone from Calcutta.
The mayor said there was no question of giving any clarification to Trinamul leaders.
"I stick to my previous stand that Mamata Banerjee is responsible for the present unrest in the hills," he added.
Such remarks by the mayor indicates that he and his party were playing politics over the hill issue, the Trinamul leaders alleged.
"Not a single comment has come in from his side or from his party with regard to the destruction of government properties in the hills. Instead, the mayor, who is also the MLA here, is making such provocative comments. It is clear that they are playing politics and want the unrest to continue. We will not let him and his party succeed in such plans," Sarkar said.
The Trinamul leader also referred to an incident that occurred today.
"We came to know this morning that some people, who claimed to be Trianmul supporters, are trying to stop some hill-bound vehicles near Champasari area," Sarkar said.
"Our local workers and leaders immediately reached the spot. Seeing them, the miscreants fled. We have requested the police to look into the issue. It seems to be the part of a plan to carry out such activities in Trinamul's name so that the party's image can be smeared," he added.
He also said that a clear instruction had been passed by district leaders across Siliguri subdivision and in adjoining areas of Jalpaiguri to prevent such miscreants.

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