West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on October 26 ruled out any plan for separation of Darjeeling into a separate state and said that she would rather work for the development of the hills.
During her visit to north Bengal, Banerjee urged leaders of the region to come up with a final plan for a ‘permanent political solution’ before going ahead with elections.
Addressing an administrative meeting of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts, CM Mamata Banerjee alleged outsiders and not insiders were creating problems in the hills.
She said once a final plan for the region was in place, her administration would go ahead with elections for panchayats and the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA).
The chief minister ruled out separation of Darjeeling from West Bengal, while promising that she would do whatever it takes to usher in development in the hills.
Banerjee said that panchayat elections in the region and polls to Gorkha Territorial Administration would be held once the voters’ list gets updated.
Panchayat elections in the hills were last held in 2000.
The chief minister said that pending elections could not be held in the region over the past two years owing to the COVID-19 situation, and her government would do its best to address the needs of locals.
“After the COVID-19 situation improves, a new voters’ list will be made and elections to GTA and panchayats will be held subsequently,” she said.