Trinamul hill campaign

Siliguri, Jan. 31: Trinamul Congress leaders today told party leaders from the hills to launch a campaign highlighting development work done by the government to win over the section of the hill population that does not want fresh trouble in the region.

Trinamul's all-India general secretary Mukul Roy and north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb today held a meeting with 17 members of the party's Darjeeling district committee, who are from the hills, at the NHPC bungalow in Siliguri. They discussed plans to consolidate the party's base in the hills.

"Mukul Roy and Gautam Deb asked the hill leaders to be in touch with common people and launch a campaign on development work being undertaken by Mamata Banerjee. We will hold a public meeting in the hills but the date hasn't been fixed," said a leader who was present at the meeting.

After the meeting, Deb said: "Today, Mukul Roy and I sat with 17 hill leaders and discussed the condition of the organisation in the hills. We also chalked out a plan to carry out our programmes in the hills."

Trinamul made a foray into the hills in 2012 when a number of leaders from the GNLF, ABGL, CPRM and even the Morcha joined the party. But this lot was bitter after the leadership told them to withdraw nominations for the GTA polls last year to pave the way for the Morcha's sweep.

"Today's exercise was an attempt to mollify them. Simultaneously, the presence of Mamata Banerjee, who told the leaders to work with dedication, made it clear the party would stand by them now," an observer said. "Trinamul leaders are confident that a section in the hills does not want fresh trouble that would affect the local economy. The party, in a discreet manner, is trying to… bring them under the party flag."

Mamata said after the meeting that two party leaders had held talks with Trinamul leaders from the hills. "We are not thinking of creating a support base and dividing people. All hill residents are our people. But every political party has a specific structure and system. We will work according to it."

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