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Darjeeling unrest: The story till now

BJP non-committal on statehood issue

‘Demand needs to be examined’

June 18, 2017 09:39 pm | Updated 11:51 pm IST - Kolkata

As unrest continued in the Darjeeling hills over the demand for the State of Gorkhaland, the BJP unit in Bengal remained non-committal. The BJP, however, in its manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, had indicated that it would “consider” the demand of the people of the hills.

Speaking to The Hindu , BJP MP from Darjeeling S.S. Ahluwalia — who is also a Minister of State — said that the “demand” of the people of Darjeeling needs to be examined. However, he did not indicate the party’s position on Gorkhaland.

“One has to properly understand what is written there [in the BJP’s manifesto]. Gorkhas and tribals will come forward with their demands which will be examined,” said Mr. Ahluwalia. The 2014 manifesto said that the BJP will “sympathetically examine” the demand.

Asked if the wording of the manifesto indicated acknowledgement of the demand, Mr. Ahluwalia said the media is “pre-judging the issue.”

“The Centre is the authority here (regarding Gorkhaland). State BJP has no role to play. The Centre will take a call,” State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.

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