Mamata pitches Gopal Gandhi for VP, flags off three new trains in North Bengal

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that she was not in favour of Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari continuing in the same office for a second consecutive term, and pitched for former state governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi as her preferred candidate for that August office.

She was speaking with media in Cooch-Behar in North Bengal after flagging off three new trains and announcing several development programmes for Cooch Behar district.

Banerjee flagged off the New Cooch Behar-New Jalpaiguri Intercity Express, Bamanhat-New Jalpaiguri-Siliguri DEMU service and New Jalpaiguri-Howrah Shatabdi Express by remote control from the Cooch Behar Stadium, adjacent to the Cooch Behar Palace.

Banerjee announced plans for establishing a new university in the district in honour of social reformer Roy Sahib Thakur Panchanan Barma.

She said that once the university was made, here would be no need for students of Cooch Behar to go to Kolkata or elsewhere for higher education.

The Chief Minister also announced that the Cooch Behar Airport would be extended under a Rs.25 crore project.

A circuit bench of the Calcutta High Court would come up in August in Jalpaiguri, she said.

Banerjee also announced Rs.50 lakh for the development of the Cooch Behar Stadium.

A jute hub would be established for which the Chief Minister asked the district magistrate to identify 33 acres required for it.

She said that previous state government had left behind a debt of about 2.3-lakh crore, "but no one will be able to resist Bengals march towards development."

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