Guwahati: Retorting sharply to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee calling him an “outsider”, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista said, “I am proud that I am an outsider, and I will never ever become an insider for Mamata ji.”
Reacting to Banerjee’s statement, where she had said, “I feel sad when a son-of-the-soil, Amarnathji (referring to Amar Singh Rai, the Trinamool candidate), does not get votes, but an outsider spends a lot of money and gets the support,” Bista wrote, “It is unfortunate that a chief minister is using the language of ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’. Mamata ji by calling me an ‘outsider’ is indulging in communal politics. This is the language that Tanvi Das used, this is the language TMC leader Gautam Deb had used some time ago when he claimed if NRC is implemented hills will become empty.”
Tanvi Das, a pro-TMC political commentator, in a recent debate, had labelled Gorkhas as “infiltrators, who need to be kicked out.”
Bista added, “Perhaps Mamata ji is not aware that it is my constitutional right to contest from any part of the country. I am an Indian Gorkha from Manipur, and it is my great honour that the people of Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency have accepted me to represent them with overwhelming votes.”
Alluding to her accusation of people voting for money, Bista said, “We Gorkhas have the highest degree of integrity, honesty and self-respect. We will never get sold for a few chunks of money. We will never surrender our dignity and honour for money.”
Taking a jibe at TMC and their supporters, the MP said, “I am glad that I do not fit in the definition of an ‘insider’ for Mamata ji because I could never betray my own people for chump change and illusion of power. I am grateful to my parents for the values they have instilled in me, for I could never loot the public to fill private coffers. My conscience would never permit me to sleep after causing death, suffering and massive pain to the common folks by looting their money through chit-funds like Sharada, Rose Valley, Basil and thousands of others to fund my political ambitions. I am honoured that Mamata ji doesn’t consider me to be an insider, because I could never join hands with someone who is responsible for the death of 11 of our brothers in cold blood.”
In 2017 Gorkhaland agitation, 11 Gorkha youths including an elected Kalimpong Municipality Councillor Barun Bhujel were killed in police custody.
Calling TMC a dictatorial party, he said, “I am happy being an outsider, because I have not sold off my honour, principles, morality and self-respect to those who have worked to unleash dictatorship in West Bengal. I will definitely take pride in my being an outsider, because I have never taken a single dime from anyone to pawn the welfare of Darjeeling Hills, Terai and Dooars for my personal benefit.”
Taking a sly at those who are in the inner circle of the chief minister he added, “Those who consider themselves ‘insider’ of Mamata ji will never want the welfare of our place, our people and our state. For TMC Rohingyas and illegal infiltrators are insiders, whereas Gorkhas will always remain outsiders.”
Reminding Banerjee of who the people of Darjeeling voted for, he said, “As the General and by-election to Darjeeling MLA seat has shown, our people are very well educated, knowledgeable and politically astute – because they have voted to power with overwhelming majority those, whom Mamata ji considers ‘outsiders’”.
“I am proud that I am an outsider, and I will never ever become an insider for Mamata ji,” he remarked.