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2 Aug 2017

CM asks parties to withdraw agitation

Mamata addresses the meeting in Chopra
KOUSIK SEN, TT, Chopra, Aug. 1: Chopra, Aug. 1: Mamata Banerjee today asked political parties in the hills to withdraw the indefinite strike, referring to hardships caused by the agitation to various sectors like education, tourism, trade and tea plantation.

"I would like to tell political parties in the hills to restore normality. Darjeeling is an international brand and it should not be spoiled. You can ask for anything from us. We will try to meet them at our best," the chief minister told a public meeting here in North Dinajpur.

Mamata appeared a bit mellowed today and refrained from launching a scathing attack on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. "Why should one create tension, spark violence and resort to arson, inconveniencing several people?" she asked.

The chief minister reeled off the troubles caused by the strike.

"Workers in tea estates are not getting food. Over 80 tea estates have closed down. Why have you resorted to a movement that has led to the closure of tea estates, schools and colleges? Students cannot study and several of them find their future bleak and are about to lose an academic year. I would like to reiterate that if somebody speaks of responsibility, then they should work in the interest of common people," Mamata said.

She said any movement could achieve success only if it worked for common people. "Here, people are not getting food, there is no employment and they are disappointed. On the other hand, some people are indulging in politics."

Mamata also mentioned the sectors hit by the strike. "Tea, trade, tourism and transport sectors are close. What's happening?" she asked.

"...I will lay down my life but would not allow the division of Bengal. I will continue my struggle against those who want to divide Bengal," the chief minister said.

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