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Demand for Statehood to Gorkhaland: Rival Parties join with GJM

File Photo By Sailendra Dewan - Myself, CC0, Link

“The demand for a separate state within the Constitutional framework and within the Indian Union, consisting of Darjeeling District and the Dooars region of West Bengal is arguably the oldest and most outstanding demand in the country today.
The basic point about Gorkhaland is IDENTITY and NOT DEVELOPMENT. The Gorkhaland Movement is neither a fight against Bengal nor is against Bengalese.
From the beginning of 2013, tensions started to surface between the TMC and the GJM. Following the announcement of the creation of the new state of Telangana, the hills erupted into a new phase of agitation.
THE POLITICS :
Jaswant Singh the BJP candidate, supported by the GJM, won the Darjeeling constituency in the Indian general elections 2009 by a margin of over 2.5 lakh votes . The GJM had supported the BJP because of positive outlook towards the formation of Gorkhaland.
Similarly, for Darjeeling (Lok Sabha constituency) in the Indian general elections in 2014, the BJP candidate Ahluwalia defeated Bhutia (TMC) by nearly 2 lakh votes.
THE RESULT:
A cash counter of the Rimbick Hydel power plant and a primary health centre in Darjeeling were set on fire by miscreants as incidents of violence and arson were reported at various places in the Darjeeling hills . The Tarakhola forest bungalow at Kalingpong, a primary school, and a gram panchayat office at Merik were also destroyed by arsonists. The GJM denied its involvement in the violence but the police claimed to have arrested several GJM leaders in connection with the violence.
The movement is fast turning into a major political crisis for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and is likely to cripple the critical tourist industry during the peak summer season.
THE SOLUTION:
After the raid on Gurung’s house, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha claimed that use of police force could worsen the situation in the hills. He clarified that BJP was in no way supporting the GJM’s demand for Gorkhaland.
Mamata Banerjee should immediately call an all-party meeting in Darjeeling to listen to their demands and sort out the situation. GJM leaders are very well aware of the fact that the entire region is too small to be given a status of a state.

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