BJP rejects separate Gorkhaland demand

BJP rejects separate Gorkhaland demand

NDA ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's (GJM's) demand for a separate Gorkhaland appears to have become politically too hot to handle for the BJP.

Caught between an ally's demand and political opportunity in the rest of West Bengal, BJP has rejected the request of statehood but is willing to lend its support for the empowerment of Gorkhas who are escalating their weeks-long stir with each passing day.

 BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is incharge of West Bengal, categorically stated that the party was not for a separate Gorkhaland but would pressure TMC government to strengthen Gorkha Territorial Administration formed following tri-partite agreement of July 18, 2011. The accord was reached during the UPA government, with West Bengal and GJM being the two other stakeholders to it.

So far the BJP has also not cleared its stand on promises made in the election manifestos of 2014 and 2009 where it stated that the party would "sympathetically examine and appropriately consider long pending demands of the Gorkhas, the Adivasis and other people of Darjeeling district and Dooars region".

 Minister of State for Agriculture SS Ahluwalia, who is also the BJP MP from Darjeeling, recently wrote to union home minister Rajnath Singh urging him to constitute a committee to examine “merits and demerits of the long pending demand of Gorkhas, the Adivasis and others” of the hills of West Bengal.

 The different positions taken by leaders of the BJP has let out a perception that the party was incoherent on the Darjelling agitation issue. To avoid that annoyed BJP president Amit Shah had summoned party's state unit chief Dilip Ghosh along with other leaders to Delhi on Tuesday for making unwarranted statement on Gorkhaland issue.

The state leaders have been advised to desist temptation of making any statement that gives political mileage to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee or puts GJM in a bad light at a time when the Hills is on the boil, said sources.

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