The Bharatiya Janta Party has neither talked about Gorkhaland, nor is it in favour of formation of states on the basis of any linguistic group or community, West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh said on Saturday, according to The Indian Express. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, an ally of the BJP, has been spearheading the renewed movement for Gorkhaland in Darjeeling for the past 10 days.
“We had never talked about Gorkhaland. Didi (Mamata Banerjee) had signed the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration accord. We are not in favour of creation of states on the basis of any linguistic group or community. We had said this earlier, too,” Ghosh said.
“If states are to be created on the basis of a linguistic group or community, we have to support everybody...If states were created on that basis, others cannot live there. Assam has more Gorkha population than Bengal. What will happen there?” he asked.
Ghosh has blamed West Bengal chief minister for the current unrest in the hills, questioning why separate funds were given to the district magistrate and 11 development boards were formed if she was confident the GTA agreement “usher in development”. The state BJP chief further said the Centre will look into whether any new state will be created.
He also called the cases filed by the police against GJM chief Bimal Gurung false. “Such cases were also filed against me. I had challenged them to arrest me,” he said.
State government opposes Sikkim’s support for GJM
Meanwhile, West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee wrote a letter on behalf of Banerjee to Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday, asking him to prevent neighbouring states from meddling in Bengal’s affairs, reported CNN News-18. Banerjee is in The Hague, Netherlands, to attend a United Nations programme.
The West Bengal government criticised Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for backing the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. On June 20, Chamling had written a letter to Singh backing the demand for Gorkhaland.
“We mentioned that the CM of Sikkim has violated constitutional rights by backing the Gorkhaland issue. We see his comment as an attempt to vitiate the atmosphere. This is purely a state subject and his letter to Rajnath Singh was undesirable,” an official said.
The Darjeeling unrest began after the West Bengal chief minister announced her decision to make Bengali compulsory in state-run schools. Though she had said that hill districts will be exempted from the rule, the GJM began an agitation that soon turned into a revival of the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.