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Monday, July 11, 2011

Two-day bandh to greet Mamata..... Darjeeling residents expect a lot from autonomous council..... Forum disputes Morcha claims - Protest in hills and plains on new administrative set-up.... डुवर्सले विरोध गर्नु राजनैतिक अपरिपक्वता हो-डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्री..... मोर्चाले झुटो बोलिरहेको छ-लीगःलीगले सत्य बोलोस्‌-मोर्चा.... Scouts and Guides receives Governor award.... Couple killed in tusker raid

Two-day bandh to greet Mamata
TT, Siliguri, July 11: Outfits opposed to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today announced a statewide bandh on July 15 and a two-day shutdown from July 18 across Bengal to protest the agreement on the adminsitrative set-up for the Darjeeling hills that is expected to be signed then.
The outfits also said they would stage road blockades if chief minister Mamata Banerjee comes to attend the tripartite meeting for the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in Darjeeling on July 18.
Members of the Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Banchao Committee, Amra Bangali, Bangla Morcha and Rashtriya Shiv Sena, demonstrated at Hashmi Chowk here this afternoon and burnt effigies of Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and general secretary Roshan Giri.
“We consider this authority (GTA) as the first step or the foundation stone of the separate state of Gorkhaland, which means partition of Bengal,” said the president of the Bhasha Banchao Committee, Mukunda Majumdar.
“We will oppose the tripartite meeting as we are against granting any autonomy to the hills. As tripartite talks are scheduled for July 18-19, we have called a 48 hours state strike during that period.”
The July 15 strike has been called jointly by other anti-Morcha outfits, he said.
Elaborating on the plans during the two-day shutdown, Majumdar said the members of the outfits would stand along the travel route of the chief minister — from New Jalpaiguri station if she comes by train and Bagdogra, if she flies down — to voice their protests.
“In general, we have nothing against the chief minister or her government. In fact, we appreciate some of her moves to redress certain problems of the state. But if she is coming here to attend the meeting for the formation of the new authority for the hills, we will oppose her visit. We will set up blockades at Darjeeling More and other locations and will stop her convoy like any other vehicles,” Majumdar added.
Forum disputes Morcha claims - Protest in hills and plains on new administrative set-up
RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, July 11: A newly formed body has castigated the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for agreeing to a new administrative arrangement for the hills, which, it said, was short of the autonomous development council that had been offered under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in 2005.
The Darjeeling Dooars People’s Forum, which claims to be an apolitical organisation, called the proposed agreement establishing the Gorkha Territorial Authority in place of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council as a “sell-out” and accused the Morcha of hoodwinking the people in the name of Gorkhaland.
The organisation was formed last week to work for the creation of Gorkhaland which would include the Darjeeling hills as well as the Dooars.
“The Morcha’s claim that it had agreed to an arrangement with no constitutional recognition so that there would be no hurdles on the road to Gorkhaland is total hogwash. Some states in the Northeast like Nagaland and Meghalaya attained full statehood despite being constitutionally recognised autonomous bodies within the state of Assam at the time of their formation,” said Pravin Gurung, the convener of the forum.
The proposed arrangement, he said, was a compulsion forced on the Morcha by the party’s criminal acts during its 44-month-long agitation in the hills. “Morcha leaders are facing charges in the Madan Tamang (former ABGL president) murder case. The previous administrator of the DGHC B.L. Meena had openly accused the Morcha leaders of corruption. It is little wonder then that they were forced to accept an arrangement, which is worse than (special status for the hills under) the Sixth Schedule. The GTA is a total sell-out,” he said.
Darjeeling residents expect a lot from autonomous council
SNS, DARJEELING, 11 JULY: The agreement on the recently christened autonomous council, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration(GTA ) which is likely to be finalised within a week will have 45 elected members and five nominated ones. The administration will have a speaker along with a deputy speaker. It will also have an apex body that is the executive council consisting 14 members that will frame policies and power. It will govern the GTA as well,
said Dr Harkha Bahadur Chettri, the GJMM spokesperson and Kalimpong MLA.
As a part of a special package the government has also offered to establish IIT and IIM in the Hills. Apart from it a multi-specialty hospital with a medical college and a research centre will also be set up here. “The Hills will have a separate College Service Commission (CSC) and School Service Commission (SSC), the GTA will also have the power to recruit staff for these boards. Apart from this it will have a separate education directorate ,” said Dr Chettri. The government has also agreed to transfer the tauzi department to the GTA.
Sources within the GJMM said, the GTA will be able to appoint government officials. The Hills will also have provident fund and insurance offices. Regarding the territorial jurisdiction of the GTA, the GJMM demanded the inclusion of 300 moujas of the Terai and the Dooars into the proposed territory. A high-powered committee comprising representatives from the state, one from the Centre and four from the GJMM, would submit its report within six months slated to be formed after the final agreement on GTA is signed. During the last bipartite meeting held at Kolkata on 8 July between the GJMM and state government officials, a final touch was given to the draft proposal. However, the body will have no legislative powers, since it is not constitutionally guaranteed. The transfer of forest management to the new body has also not been finalised and the granting of sectoral tribal status to the Hills people is also under consideration, said a GJMM leader.
According to sources, the body will get funds Rs 1000-1500 crore spread over a period of five years, that does not include funds from the government plans.

डुवर्सले विरोध गर्नु राजनैतिक अपरिपक्वता हो-डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्री
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ,11 जुलाई। केन्द्रले गोर्खाल्याण्ड टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशनमा तराई डुवर्सको अन्तरभुक्तिबारे अस्वीकृति जनाइसकेको केही दिन अघि हिल युवा कंग्रेसका सचिव दिलिप प्रधानले एक अन्तरक्रियात्मक कार्यक्रममा स्पष्ट पारेका थिए, तर अहिलेसम्म आधिकारिकरूपले यो कुरा सार्वजनिक भएको छैन। यता गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले जबसम्म तराई-डुवर्स व्यवस्थामा पस्दैन तबसम्म हस्ताक्षर नगर्ने बचन दिइसकेको भए पनि अहिले आएर हस्ताक्षर गर्ने अनि जोइन्ट भेरिफिकेशन कमिटीले 6 महिनापछि बुझाएको रिपोर्टको आधारमा व्यवस्थाको चुनाउ तय गर्ने बताइरहेको छ।
उता तराई डुवर्सको मोर्चा शाखा-प्रशाखाहरूले मोर्चाको घोषणामा विश्वासयोग्य आधार खोज्न थालेका छन्‌। अहिले आन्तरिकरूपले मोर्चाका तराई डुवर्स शाखामा छलफल र चर्चा भइरहेको अनि सबै चर्चामा तराई-डुवर्सले यसपल्ट पनि धोका पाइसकेको निष्कर्षहरू निस्किरहेको समाचार पनि छापामा आइसकेको छ। मोर्चाले घरिघरि परिवर्तन गरेको टिप्पणीको कारण अझसम्म स्पष्ट थिएन कि वास्तविकता के हो। अन्तमा हस्ताक्षर गर्ने अनि कमिटीले 6 महिनापछि रिपोर्ट बुझाएपछि व्यवस्थामा तराई डुवर्सका मौजा हाल्ने कुरा अघि आएपछि परिस्थिति नै शंकास्पद बनेको छ। तराई-डुवर्सका जनताले मोर्चालाई शंका गर्दै धोका भइरहेको अनुभव गरेको अनि व्यवस्थाको विरोध गरिरहेको समाचार आएपछि आज मोर्चा प्रवक्ता तथा विधायक डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीसित प्रश्न गर्दा तिनले भने, विरोध कसले गर्दैछ, हामीलाई थाहा छैन। तराई डुवर्सका भातृसङ्गठन, केन्द्रिय समिति हामीसितै छन्‌। हाम्रो मान्छे हामीसित नै छन्‌। त्यहॉं मोर्चाको नाममा अरू पार्टीहरू पनि चल्मलाउँछ।
एउटा कुरा उनीहरूले याद राख्नुपर्छ, अहिलेसम्म यो व्यवस्थाको निम्ति ढिलो भएको कारण नै तराई र डुवर्स हो। हामीले यो व्यवस्थामा तराई-डुवर्सका गोर्खाबाहुल मौजाहरूको अन्तरभुक्तिको निम्ति जोइन्ट भेरिफिकेशन कमिटी मागेका हौं। सरकार पनि मानेको छ। अब यसको मेम्बर बनाउने र जॉंच प्रक्रिया शुरू हुने बेला भएको छ। नोटिफिकेशन हुनु छ। यस्तो बेला विरोध हुनु भनेको राजनैतिक अपरिपक्वता मात्र हो। तिनले राजनीति गर्नेले जॉंच प्रक्रियालाई पर्खिने बताउँदै भने, जुन जुन क्षेत्रको दाबी गरिएको छ, त्यो व्यवस्थामा पस्नेछ। जॉंचको निम्ति तीनवटा आधारहरू राखिएको छ। कन्टिव्यूटी, होमोजिनिटी अनि ग्राउण्ड रियालिटी। जुनजुन क्षेत्र दार्जीलिङसित सम्बन्धित छ, त्यो क्षेत्र पस्छ, जुनजुन क्षेत्रले पस्न मान्दैन, त्यो पस्ने छैन। आदिवासीहरू नै पनि व्यवस्थामा पस्न राजी छन्‌ भने उनीहरूलाई पनि हालिनेछ। डुवर्सका मानिसहरू सुर्ताउनु हुँदैन। कमिटीको रिपोर्ट पर्खिनुपर्छ।
मोर्चाले झुटो बोलिरहेको छ- लीगःलीगले सत्य बोलोस्‌-मोर्चा
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ,11 जुलाई। गोर्खाल्याण्ड टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन थापेर मोर्चाले गोर्खालीग मदन तामङको भविष्यवाणी पुरा गरेको दाबी गर्दै गोर्खालीग केन्द्रिय समिति सदस्य प्रताप खातीले आज भने, मदन तामङले मोर्चाले दागोपापलाई नै बढाएर थाप्छ भनेका थिए। तिनले सॉंचो बोलेकोले तिनको हत्या पनि मोर्चाले नै गर्‍यो।तिनको हत्या गरेपछि मोर्चाले दोगापोप नै थाप्दैछ। वास्तवमा मदन तामङले मोर्चाको भविष्य देखिसकेका थिए। तिनको भविष्यवाणी पुरा भयो। तिनले किटान गर्दै 11 पल्टको वार्ताभरिमा नै मोर्चाले गोर्खाल्याण्ड शब्द नै उच्चारण नगरेको अनि मोर्चाको उद्देश्य दागोपाप थाप्नुबाहेक केही नरहेको बताउँदै भने, राज्यको चिफ सेकेरेटेरी समर घोषले राष्ट्रिय दैनिकलाई भनिसकेका छन्‌ कि मोर्चाले कहिल्यै भारतभरिका गोर्खाहरूको निम्ति छुट्टैराज्य मागेन। 

मोर्चाले दार्जीलिङको समस्याको समाधान गर्ने प्रस्ताव दिएको मात्र होइन राज्य र केन्द्रलाई वार्तामा बुझाएकोले नै यो व्यवस्था मोर्चालाई दिएको हो। सरकारको खेस्रा लेजिसलेटिभ र फाइनेन्सियल फावरको उल्लेख गरिएको छ तर समर घोषले व्यवस्थामा दुवै पावर नरहेको स्पष्ट पारेका छन्‌। केन्द्रले सीमाङ्‌कनको कुरालाई सोझै खारेज गरिदिएको छ तर मोर्चाले जनतालाई झुट बोलेर आफ्नो दुनो सोझ्याउने काम गरिरहेको छ। मोर्चाले जुन धोका दिइरहेको छ यसको विरोध बुद्दिजीवीहरूले गर्न ससेक छैनन्‌। मोर्चामा विकुवा बुद्धिजीवी पसेकोले नै जनताले धोका खाइरहेको छ। अब समय भयो बुद्धिजीवी, शिक्षित, पढेलेखेका युवाहरू बोल्न पर्छ। तिनले मोर्चाको दागोपाप भन्दा आनन्द पाठकले मागेको स्वायत्त शासन नै राम्रो रहेको अनि सुवास घिसिङको छैटौं अनुसूची नै उत्तम रहेको जनाए।
तिनले भने, मोर्चाले खिचड़ीलाई खीर भन्दैछ। जनताको आँखामा धुलो हाल्दैछ। ममताले विमलको मुख बुच्चाउँदैमा गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलन हुँदैन भन्नु मुर्खता हुनेछ। यता खातीको टिप्पणीमाथि प्रतिक्रिया माग्दा मोर्चा प्रवक्ता डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले भने, मोर्चाले ढॉंट्‌दैछ भने त्यही सही। लीगले सत्य बोलोस्‌। जसको 1 प्रतिशत जनाधार छैन, जसको 1 प्रतिशत कार्यक्रम छैन उसले बोलेको कुरा कसले सुन्छ? लीगले विरोध गर्दै गरोस्‌ हामीलाई फरक पर्दैन। अँ, लीग सॉंच्ची नै राजनैतिक दल हुनु हो भने कुरा गर्ने थियौं तर लीग प्रेस कन्फरेन्समा सिमित छ। यस्तो दलसित के कुरा गर्नु? मोर्चामा विकुवा बुद्दिजीवी छ भने उब्रिएको बुद्दिजीवी लिएर लीगले आन्दोलन गरोस्‌।
Scouts and Guides receives Governor award
Prativa Rai receiving award of merit from WB Governor
KalimNews and news. webindia: Bharat Scouts and Guides leaders and students of Kalimpong District association of Bharat Scouts & Guides recieved merit award from Governor M.K. Narayanan during an award giving ceremoney held at Raj Bhavan, Kolkata on 7 July. P.R.Pradhan educationist and District Chief commissioner received Bar to the award of merit, Mr. D.N.Pradhan, Retd Brigadier P.M.Subba, Susanna Ghising and Prativa Rai received Medal of Merit. 4 scouts also received Rajya Puraskar.
Brig Subba is a resource person of the Bharat Scouts and Guides while Prativa Rai is a guide captain and District treasurer while Susanna Ghising is Vice President of KDA and flock leader. Both Mrs Rai and Ms Ghising are from kalimpong Girls' HS School.
Recognising their meritorious services in national endeavours, West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan honoured 390 members of 'Bharat Scouts and Guides' at a function.
Handing over the prizes and citation to these young scouts and guides, besides honouring them as ''Adult Leaders'', the Governor described their movement as ''inspirational'' to all other Indians. ''It is always an honour to wear the Scouts and Guides badges,'' 
Mr Narayanan said and described their role in generating true nationalism among all citizens as praiseworthy. Also speaking on the occassion West Bengal Youth Services minister Ujjal Biswas promised to revive the Scouts and Guides movement in the state after they remained neglected so long under the previous regime.
Among others, Bharat Scouts and Guides Chief Commissioner in Bengal S K Biswas was present.
Couple killed in tusker raid
TT, Siliguri, July 11: A tusker that strayed out of a herd and entered a village in Naxalbari block last night trampled to death a couple while they tried to run away from the animal.
The elephant also damaged a shop and three huts in Jamidarguri village before returning to the nearby Bagdogra forest.
Madan Chhetri, 52, and his wife Parbati, 38, were inside the house when the elephant entered the village around midnight.
Seeing the animal both Madan and Parbati went out of the house and started running. The tusker chased them for some distance and then lifted them with its trunk. It dropped them to the ground and then trampled them. “A stray elephant raided the village yesterday in search of food. When the couple came out of their hut, the elephant attacked them. They died on the spot,” said Y.T. Aden, the divisional forest officer of Kurseong.
Today residents of the area blocked NH31C at Hatighisha from 6am to 10.30am demanding a permanent wildlife squad in the area and immediate compensation for the affected villagers.
They said villages like Atal, Jamidarguri, Kalabari, Damdema and Kiranchandra tea estate are frequently raided by elephants during the monsoon. Jamidarguri village is under Hatighisha panchayat and 30km from Siliguri.
The blockade was withdrawn after foresters held a meeting with the members of the panchayat. “We are trying hard to prevent elephants from entering the locality by using four vehicles and two tractors. We have also engaged 35-40 staff from different ranges of the Kurseong division. We have informed the higher authorities about the frequent raids in the area,” said a forester.
Doc stabbed, lock on garden
ANIRBAN CHOUDHURY, TT, Alipurduar, July 11: A doctor in a tea garden owned by Duncans Industries Limited in Jalpaiguri district was stabbed in the stomach by a worker, when he referred his mother to the nearest government hospital because of her critical condition.
The management of Garganda Tea Garden, 69km from Alipurduar town, today pasted a suspension of work notice at its gates in protest and walked out amid allegations from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-affiliated labour union that the future and livelihood of 2,000 workers were at stake.
The notice read that the “moral confidence of the managerial personnel” has been shaken and created such “deep psychological impact that continuation of the operation has become impossible”.
The accused, Bobin Biswakarma, who had stabbed Dr D.P. Dey on Saturday, was arrested from Birpara today. Dey was operated upon in a nursing home in Siliguri this afternoon and is said to be out of danger.
Sashi Lama, the nurse of the garden hospital and an eyewitness to the incident, said around 9pm on Saturday Bobin came with his mother who was vomiting from the morning. “The doctor asked Bobin why he had not brought her to him earlier and told him to immediately take her to the Birpara State General Hospital with its better infrastructure than the garden as she was critical,” Sashi said.
The nurse said Bobin began shouting at the doctor, accusing him of neglecting the poor. “To my horror, he suddenly took out a knife from his waist and stabbed the doctor on the stomach and ran away leaving his mother behind,” she said. Senior manager of the garden K.P. Charak said from Siliguri: “We were feeling insecure and forced to leave the garden.”
The notice, however, has not gone down well with the Morcha-affiliated Dooars Terai Darjeeling Plantation Labour Union. “We condemn the incident, but the management that calls us to discuss small issues did not consult us before walking out, leaving 2,000 workers with an uncertain future,” said Narayan Bhujal, an executive committee member of the union.

Karuna Cultural Centre inaugurated
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok,11 July. Karuna Cultural Centre a centre of Majhitar cultural Centre, was inaugurated by the Governor of Sikkim,Balmiki Prasad Singh.The function was graced by the Minister for HRDD, Mr N.K. Pradhan; Minister for Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management, Mr Bhim Dhungel; Minister for Health Care, Human Resources and Family Welfare Department, Mr D.N. Thakarpa; Vice Chancellor, Brig. Somnath Mishra; former Vice Chancellor, Brig. S.S. Pabla, PRO Chancellor, Mr R.N. Salhan and other officials of the Sikkim Government and SMU and students.
In his address HE The Governor said that Rangpo is a place where SMIT has acquired a major attraction. Karuna Cultural Centre has been created to blend up the people of Rangpo and adjacent areas in socio-cultural activities as he felt that large number of private institutions and industries could come forward for the socio-cultural development of the region. Under the able guidance of Ms Neeru Sewa, who is also the Area MLA and Brig. S.S. Pabla, the then Vice Chancellor of SMU whose sole interest in this Centre and the involvement of people would surely craft a good example in the State, the Governor added.
Ms. Neeru Sewa in her address mentioned that the idea for the inception of Karuna Cultural Centre came up during the interaction of HE with the people of Rangpo and surroundings. The Minister said that the Centre could be use for pragmatic work and also extended her gratitude to HE for boosting the morale of the people. She mentioned that SMIT has palyed a major role in transferring small hamlet into a major socio-cultural hub and a centre for tecnological learning. With the perennial blessings of HE, the Centre will be success story, she added.
Brig. S.S. Pabla while presenting a brief introduction of Majhitar cultural Centre, said that Karuna Cultural Centre is first of its activity of the trust to honour late Mrs Karuna Singh, wife of HE, The Governor.
Earlier, the programme started with the welcome address by Brg. Somnath Mishra, Vice Chancellor, SMU while the vote of thanks was proposed by Mr R.N. Salhan, PRO Vice Chancellor SMU.

Sky limit for Darjeeling tourists
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, July 11: Holidaymakers who want to add a dash of adventure to their trip to Darjeeling will have reasons to feel happy as paragliding is all set to make its debut here.

A group of 10 local youths is planning to introduce “extreme adventure tourism” from October this year to provide a fun-filled experience to visitors.
Sangay Sherpa, the founder of Off Roads, said he thought of starting the sport after conducting a survey on profiles of tourists in Darjeeling and what they like to do here while on a holiday.
The findings suggested that more than 80 per cent of the visitors fall within the 20-40 year age group, he said.
“Our survey suggested that these people are not too enthused in visiting places like the zoo and parks. These facts prompted us to take the initiative to start extreme adventure tourism,” said Sangay.
He said paragliding would initially start in three places.
“We have identified the Tiger Hill-Lebong, Batasia-Rock garden and Chitray-Maneybhanjyan route to start paragliding. It will be a 40 minute flight and we will charge Rs 2,500 for each trip,” said Sangay.
Off Roads, with its trained paragliders, have already conducted a flight along these routes.
“We will have six trained professionals from Manali all of whom have completed around 1,000 flights and we are of the opinion that given the panoramic view of the region, Darjeeling will be the best destination for paragliding in the country,” Sangay said.< Tourists will have a co-pilot to assist them during the flight. Sangay said his agency has already bought three paraglides each costing around Rs 1.8 lakh. “We will also be introducing zorbing ball which is a big hit among adventure enthusiasts,” said Sangay. A person has to sit inside the ball that will then be rolled around.

“We have not finalised the place where we will keep the zorbing ball. Options are open for us as we can start zorbing ball even on the banks along the Teesta,” said Sangay.
He added that the group has bought one such ball that costs Rs 60,000.
Off Roads also plans to introduce other adventure sport like paint ball.
In this game, individuals try and “eliminate” their opponents by hitting them with capsules containing food colouring ingredients that are fired from a “gun”
“This is a very good sport to de-stress and is a hit among those employed in the corporate sector. A set of 12 guns will cost around Rs 1.4 lakh and we are also looking at introducing this sport along with the paragliding project,” said Sangay.
“We do not need to build an infrastructure to start games like paint ball while at the same time the sport would provide the tourists with more reasons to enjoy the stay in the hills,” said Sangay.

Tea wage talks in Calcutta
Jaigaon/Alipurduar, July 11: The state labour commissioner will hold a meeting with the representatives of 36 tea trade unions in Calcutta on Thursday to discuss the revision of workers’ wages in the gardens of the Terai and the Dooars.
Tea union sources said representatives of the Co-ordination Committee of Tea Plantation Workers, Defence Committee for Plantation Workers’ Rights and the Adivasi Vikas Parishad-backed Progressive Tea Workers’ Union would attend the meeting. In another development on the tea front, the management and trade unions have decided at a meeting that Kadambini Tea Estate in Alipurduar will reopen on Wednesday. The garden has been shut since November 14, 2008.
Not a blind follower, Sir
TT, July 11: The Prime Minister directed junior railway minister Mukul Roy to visit the Assam train blast site but Roy left for Jungle Mahal with Mamata Banerjee this evening after an assessment that “everything was under control” in the Northeast state.
Roy told The Telegraph he had sent a note to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) saying there was no need for him to go to Assam because Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) had informed him that everything was under control.
The 70 people injured in the blast in Assam’s Rangia, 50km from Guwahati, were evacuated last night itself and trains started running again, though delayed, on the stretch today.
Trinamul sources backed Roy’s claim, saying his move should not be seen as defiance. They also pointed out that the rush by ministers to disaster zones mostly put impediments in the path of relief workers and distracted resources.
PMO sources confirmed that Manmohan Singh had agreed with Roy’s explanation yesterday that he couldn’t make it to the Kalka Mail accident site in Uttar Pradesh because of its distance from Calcutta.
But, they said, Singh was miffed at Roy’s subsequent media statement last evening and had directed the Trinamul minister to leave today for the Assam site, which is closer to Calcutta. Last evening, asked whether he planned to visit the Uttar Pradesh site, Roy had told reporters: “I will visit if it is necessary.”
The Prime Minister has been overseeing the railway portfolio after Mamata’s departure, and also happens to be a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam.
Roy said tonight: “Last night, the PMO told me that the Prime Minister wanted me to proceed to Assam because of the train blast there. I checked with NFR and was told everything was under control. Even this morning I checked with NFR and was again told the situation was under control.”
He added: “So, I sent a note to the PMO informing it that there was no need for me to go to Assam. I am now accompanying Mamata Banerjee to Jungle Mahal.”
Junior health minister and Trinamul MP Dinesh Trivedi, tipped to be elevated to cabinet rank and handed the railway portfolio, defended last evening’s media statement by Roy. Trivedi said Roy did not want to hinder the relief and rescue operations by visiting the Uttar Pradesh site.
Singh had yesterday sent one of the two other junior railway ministers, K.H. Muniappa, to the Kalka Mail site.

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