West Bengal

West Bengal Assembly polls | BJP again promises permanent solution to Gorkha issue

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. File   | Photo Credit: A. Shaimohideen

Asserting that ties between the Gorkha population of Darjeeling hills and the BJP are age-old, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday promised a permanent political solution to the Gorkha issue.

“Our Constitution is exhaustive. I promise that a permanent political solution to the Gorkha problem will be reached by the double-engine government of the BJP — one at the Centre and the other in Bengal. You will not have to resort to agitations anymore,” Mr. Shah said at while campaigning in Darjeeling hills .

Earlier at a rally in Kalimpomg on Monday, Mr. Shah had assured that there was no plan to implement the National Register of Citizens for now. Thousands of Gorkhas were Left out of NRC exercise in Assam.

“Even if the exercise is carried out in future, Gorkhas need not worry about it,” Mr Shah said. He also promised Scheduled Tribe status to 11 Hill communities.

The promise of a permanent political solution to the issues of the Darjeeling hills was made by the BJP in its manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and has been repeated by the party at every subsequent election.

Politics in the Darjeeling hills are centred around the demand for the creation of Gorkhaland, a separate State to be carved out of the three hills districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong and also areas of Terai and Dooars with significant Gorkha population.

The Home Minister promised the withdrawal of all cases against the people for participation in the 2017 agitation, during the 100-day bandh in the hills. Mr. Shah raised the issue of the agitation and said the Tinamool Congress administration had indulged in atrocities against the Gorkha population. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Bimal Gurung, a former ally of BJP, had then gone into hiding after several criminal charges were pressed against him. He resurfaced in October, 2020 and joined hands with the Trinamool Congress.

“Congress, Communist and Didi (Ms Banerjee) has put a full stop on the development of Darjeeling,” Mr Shah said and promised the setting up of a Municipal Corporation in one oldest municipalities of the country, Darjeeling.

The Trinamool Congress has left the three hill constituencies Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong to its “ friends” from the hills — the two GJM factions led by Bimal Gurung and Binay Tamang.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 2:58:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/west-bengal-assembly-polls-bjp-again-promises-permanent-solution-to-gorkha-issue/article34312806.ece

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