Centre failed to honour promises, did nothing for people of North Bengal: Mamata

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Falakata (WB), Feb 2 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused the Centre of doing nothing for the people of the northern districts of the state despite having 'so many' BJP MPs from the region.

She said before every election, BJP leaders make promises of reopening defunct tea gardens in North Bengal, but 'flee' afterwards.

The BJP hit back, claiming that her government has failed to bring development in the region and people have rejected the Trinamool Congress.

Banerjee, who is on a four-day tour of North Bengal from Monday, alleged that the BJP had promised to 'reopen all the seven closed tea gardens before the Lok Sabha elections, but not a single one has resumed operations. There are so many (BJP) MPs who have won from North Bengal, but tell me what have they done for this region... Nothing'.

She handed over allotment letters for houses to around 4,500 workers of at least 12 tea gardens in Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts under the 'Chaa Sundari' scheme of the state government.

'We promise and keep it. We had declared it (Chaa Sundari scheme) in last year's budget. Now see, allotment letters are being sent, the chief minister said.

'This is what the Trinamool Congress is all about... The CPI-M never did it, and the less you talk about the BJP, the better. The BJP only talks big and tells lies. The party is expert in spreading canards and rumours,' she claimed.

The government has allocated Rs 500 crore for the Chaa Sundari scheme and work will be completed in the next three years, she said asking the housing and the labour department to expedite the process.

'Our government is for the people, for the farmers, for the scheduled tribes. We will not do anything that is anti-farmer or anti-people. We have already reopened nine closed tea gardens and will try to get the others to function again, too,' Banerjee said.

She presented gifts to a few of the 450 couples who got married at a mass wedding ceremony here. She also danced with artistes belonging to a scheduled tribe.

Reacting to Banerjee's charges against his party, state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya claimed her government has totally failed to usher in development in North Bengal.

'The people of Darjeeling Hills and Jangalmahal have rejected the TMC in the last Lok Sabha elections. The chief minister has nothing left to speak about,' he said. PTI SCH NN ZMN