DARJEELING: P Chidambaram as Union home minister may have irked Mamata Banerjee by his statements on the state's law and order situation, but his successor Sushil Kumar Shinde seems to have struck the right chord with the Bengal chief minister. When he and Mamata emerged from a meeting at a Darjeeling hotel on Friday evening, both were beaming.
"I have been to Darjeeling earlier with my family, but it was not so developed then. This time round, I can see a lot of development. Several development schemes from my sister Mamata Banerjee will help this area grow further. The Centre will provide all assistance to the state and Bimal Gurung. We want this area to develop further," Shinde said after the meeting.
There was clear indication that relations are thawing between the Centre and Mamata. The chief minister was all smiles when she said: "I know Sushil Shinde for several years. Now, he is the home minister as well as the Leader of the House. I have congratulated him on his achievement. Tomorrow is a historic occasion."
Friday's meeting lasted for nearly an hour. While railway minister Mukul Roy and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri were present during the first half of the meeting, they left the room during the second session.
Though Mamata and Shinde refused to reveal anything, sources said they discussed the future of the Hills and the possible unrest that may arise during the first term of the GTA.