Cong leader still demands all-party meeting on the Hill situation

Statesman News ServiceSILIGURI, May 12: The Congress leader Mr Somen Mitra slammed the state government for the Darjeeling Hills bungling. “The problem, being more than a mere political problem requires a more sensible handling and the state has been bungling it for years in a most irresponsible manner,” Mr Mitra said. He further criticised the CPI-M for reducing the ongoing state panchayat election to a farce with the help of the state administration. He came to Siliguri today in connection with panchayat poll campaigning in north Bengal. Mr Mitra said the Congress is still demanding an all-party meeting on the Hill situation. “A solution may evolve in the course of analytical discussions among all the political parties of the state. But the chief minister is reluctant to convene it. We cannot understand which way the state government’s mind is working,” he said.“The chief minister seems to be blindly toeing the line being chalked out by the state urban development minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya. And the problem is Mr Bhattacharya seems to have lost touch with the Hill’s ground reality. The initial inflexibility on the part of the state regarding the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha rally in Siliguri clearly indicates that the government is resolved to handle the sensitive issue with mere state force,” Mr Mitra alleged.This apart, the Congress leader also castigated the CPI-M for reducing the on-going panchayat election in the state to a veritable farce with the active assistance of the state administration. “The party has been browbeating the courageous administrators into submission. This has been amply proved recently in the case of strife-torn Nandigram,” Mr Mitra said.

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