Gorkhaland activists raise demand in Mamata's presence

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 29, 2013 10:00 hrs

Darjeeling, Jan 29 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee faced embarrassing moments Tuesday after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters demanded a separate Gorkhaland state at a function where she announced development initiatives.

The commotion started soon after Banerjee finished her brief speech at the Chowrasta (four-point crossing) here. Some GJM activists stood up and waved posters that read "We want Gorkhaland", and also shouted slogans pressing for the creation of the separate state.

Banerjee sat through the demonstration looking distinctly uncomfortable, as senior bureaucrats and police officers seemed to have been caught off-guard.

After a short while, GJM president Bimal Gurung, who was sharing the dais with the chief minister, appealed to the party activists to calm down and let the programme continue smoothly.

As the protestors stopped their ruckus, Banerjee took the microphone and said: "Please remember, this is not a party programme; this is a government programme. We must not say anything which will give a wrong message. It is neither your party's programme nor my party's programme. I am very rough and tough in this regard."

"Please realise, you can raise your voice in your party programme. This is a government programme. So please reconsider. And don't give any wrong message so that people will misunderstand that Darjeeling is again going for something else. This is a political slogan. You can give. It is your prerogative. But give it in your party programme, not (at a) government programme".


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