Bengal will never be divided: Derek O’Brien

Neelu Vyas

While tension prevails in Bengal’s hill town of Darjeeling, Parliamentary party leader of Trinamool Congress Derek O’Brien has categorically said that Bengal will never be divided.

derekHe slammed the Gorkha Mukti Morcha for creating tension over unreasonable demands. Brien also stated that Mamata Banerjee was all for development but Gorkhas were afraid of now coming under the scanner for committing frauds in the Gorkha Territorial administration Commenting on the presidential election Derek O’Brien said that opposition unity was exemplary and they will not announce the candidate’s name till the time government does.

Brien even slammed RSS for manufacturing fake news and maligning the Mamata Government. TMC leader even targeted the centre for misusing CBI.

Here are the edited excerpts of the interview given to Rajya Sabha TV:

Q) What’s happening in Darjeeling, we see all incongruous images coming from the beautiful hill town? Is it a battle of political supremacy?

People have chosen development there is nothing compulsory. Bengal follows a three language formula. Fourth language is optional for the hills. The bigger issue is with the local leaders of Gorkha Mukti Morcha cannot handle development. kanyashree scheme, cycles given to girls, education Himalayan campus, look at tourism, tea boutique. People came out and voted for Mamata Banerjee. She will not get scared. This is not about ego. It’s about peace and development. Asking for another state is an absurd argument. one parliamentary constituency and two assembly constituencies  , centre I suspect  is playing their own games., Bengal will not be divided. There are 60 other demands.

Q) Was this development done through the development boards? Was this the reason of unease between Gorkhas and state govt?

Elections to the Gorkha Territorial Administration is coming, there is a serious audit report coming against GTA. They are afraid of the audit. We want a transparent audit.

Q) When there is a GTA, why is Mamata Banerjee interfering?

It’s not interference. After 40 yrs there was a cabinet meeting. Mamata Banerjee is offering development and peace. On the other side its disruption in the peak tourist season. people in north Bengal want development. Gorkhas are looking for issues language issue is already resolved.

 Q) Why was the cabinet meeting held if the situation was sensitive?

We are part of one state. Bengal will never be divided. its a game of vested interests , Gorkhas along with BJP is diverting all attention from farmers issues, jobs, economy after demonetisation

 Q) What’s the plan of the Opposition for the President Elections?

We have enough coordination in parliament. With the recent meetings called by congress President Mamata Banerjee attended, karunanidhi’s 94th birthday, all opposition leaders have made a committee and are meeting. We will look for names on the opposition candidate. we will not announce nay names till the govt does. There has to be a consensus.

Q) How difficult is this consensus?

Why talk about opposition, it’s difficult for BJP, there is no khichdi, it’s a good mix of all dishes, rather than one dish which is cooked by two people. There are no ego battles or clash of personalities. All opposition leaders are having bonhomie? The bigger issues you should see on which opposition is untied, jobs, farmers, communal and social fabric of the country, freedom of press. Rule of majoritarianism. We will unite on all these issues.

Q) Are we to assume that grand alliance will be formed and 2019 battle will be between all versus Narnedra Modi?

Opposition will be one orchestra booming over the megaphone like one voice. You are free to assume at the moment whatever you want to because you are a free press.

Q) Don’t you think Mamata govt has lost out on the perception battle, man on the street thinks that TMC is a party of goons who has invested thousands of rupees of the investors embroiled in the Saradha and Narada chit fund scam?

Narada issue was all over in 2016, Don’t go by perception, see the ground reality, Bengal will always be ahead in development, Peace, harmony intact in Bengal

 Q) Why did state govt reject the CBI inquiry on chit fund scam initially?

Where is the CBI, it’s a caged parrot. It’s working for the government to top it all RSS manufacturing fake news in Bengal, CBI has no credibility, CBI a govt instrument.

Q) There is a feeling that Mamata Banerjee govt is appeasing minorities and has secluded the Hindus of the state?

No one understands the Bengal psyche other than Mamata Banerjee. We don’t blow our trumpet, if anybody has a problem with Mamata Banerjee appeasing the people of Bengal, go take a walk. We don’t do Hindu Muslim politics. We aim at development. Mamata Banerjee is straight faced, BJP is the opposite.