Darjeeling, Oct 26 IANS) A day after the warring Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) reconciled with the West Bengal government, assuring it would work jointly for development, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday dubbed separatists as "extortionists".
"There are some who always indulge in the politics of divide and rule. They have no other work but to demand a new state every now and then.
"They do it only to extort money," Banerjee said at a government programme at Matigara near Siliguri of Darjeeling district, without naming the GJM, which has been spearheading the agitation for a Gorkhaland state in the northern Bengal hills.
Blaming the erstwhile Left Front government for neglecting the development of Darjeeling hills, she enumerated a host of developmental projects initiated by her government for turning the region into a "tourism hub".
Observing that Darjeeling had more potential than Switzerland as a tourist destination, she said her government was committed towards developing infrastructure in the region with major emphasis on "tea-tourism".
The GJM has been on a warpath with the Banerjee regime.
However, the Gorkha outfit following a meeting with Banerjee Friday extended an olive branch assuring it would cooperate with the government in developing the region.