Mamata backed smaller states when she was in NDA: SS Ahluwalia

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WB BJP candidate takes a dig at Mamata
Kolkata, March 28: The BJP on Friday hit out at Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, saying she was following a double standard on the issue of creating smaller states. The party's national vice-president, SS Ahluwalia, who is contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha election from Darjeeling, said in Siliguri that Banerjee had backed creation of smaller states when she was a minister in the previous NDA government at the Centre. "Mamata Banerjee does not support creation of a separate state in Darjeeling now, but when she was a minister in the NDA government, she had backed creation of smaller states," PTI quoted Ahluwalia as saying.

The three small states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal earlier) were formed in 2000, during the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Recently, the party also backed the formation of Telangana.

Ahluwali questioned source of TMC's funds, mocked Banerjee's hawai chappals

The Gorkhan Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a potent force in the hills of North Bengal, backed Ahluwalia after the TMC fielded former footballer Baichung Bhutia from this constituency. The GJM said they would not support Bhutia since he is an outsider. Bhutia belongs to Sikkim.

Ahluwalia, countering Banerjee's charges that the BJP was using money power to divide the state, questioned the source of the TMC's funds. Taunting Baneree, he said wearing hawai chappal doesn't fetch one money. Banerjee is known for a simplistic living, which includes choice of humble footwear.

On his sportsman opponent, Ahliwalia said there was no football ground in the Parliament.

The BJP had won the Darjeeling seat in 2009 when its senior leader Jaswant Singh contested. The GJM had also supported the BJP then.

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