Mamata hits out at centre over ‘attempts’ to shift Tea Board HQ

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Kolkata, Aug 23 (IANS) Continuing her tirade against the Narendra Modi led central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday alleged that attempts were being made to shift the Tea Board headquarters from Kolkata to Assam.

“Attempts are being made to shift the Tea Board headquarters from Kolkata to Assam. We will protest against this attempt,” Banerjee told media persons at Chopra in North Dinajpur district.

The chief minister said her government has set up a separate directorate for north Bengal’s tea gardens and created a special Rs 100 crore fund for tea garden workers.

Banerjee also accused the Damodar Valley Corporation of releasing water without taking the state into confidence and threatened to take legal measures.

“If rains trigger floods that I can understand. But If floods are caused as a result of release of water, then I call it manmade flood.

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“They (DVC) are releasing water without asking us. We told them not to do so, but they didn’t pay any heed.

“If water is released like this without taking the state into confidence, we won’t spare (those responsible). We will take legal measures,” she added.

Banerjee has been raising her pitch in stridently criticising the centre over the past few days.

She has earlier attacked the Modi government over a host of issues including centre’s alleged “step-motherly treatment” to the state, depriving Bengal in financial matters, violence against Dalits, cow vigilantism and a section of Hindu right wing forces’ diatribe against beef consumption.

Observers feel Banerjee is trying to make common cause with anti-BJP and non-Congress regional parties in the country in her bid to forge a federal front, where she and her party could play a leading role in the run up to the next general election in 2019.

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