Why Raju Bista shying away from the word 'Gorkhaland': Binay Tamang
Darjeeling: Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and requested his intervention in implementing a "permanent political solution" for the Hills. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Binay faction) were quick to react and questioned the MP as to why he is shying away from the word "Gorkhaland" on which he had won a thumping mandate during the last Lok Sabha election.
Bista in a press communication on Wednesday wrote "I informed Modi ji about the sensitive Chicken Neck region and the significance of Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars from our national security perspective. I also informed him about the discrimination people here have had to face over the decades. I have requested his intervention with regards to arriving at Permanent Political Solution as committed to in our 2019 Sankalp Patra.
Modi ji acknowledged the importance of peace prevailing in the Chicken Neck region and told me that the government is equally concerned about resolving the issues of the region. On his advice, I will be taking up these issues with Hon'ble Home Minister Amit Shah ji soon."
Incidentally the BJP has bagged the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency seat for three consecutive terms playing the Gorkhaland card.
During the 2009 and 2014 elections addendums in the BJP manifesto talked of sympathetically considering the long standing demand of Gorkhas. During the last Lok Sabha election the BJP promised a permanent political solution in the Sankal Patra (election manifesto.)
In all three elections the saffron brigade managed to translate assurances into votes and won by huge margins.
"Raju Bista had committed in the Hills so why is he saying away from the word Gorkhaland? What is this permanent political solution? Is it something other than Gorkhaland? He should clarify what he means by permanent political solution," stated Binay Tamang, President, GJM.
Tamang demanded that Bista raise the Gorkhaland demand in Parliament. "He was given the mandate for Gorkhaland and not for any other arrangement. Nothing else other than Gorkhaland will be acceptable," stated Tamang.
The GJM President claimed that the BJP is not sincere about Gorkhaland. He stated that if the BJP can bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir along with the political developments for Vidarbha, then why are they shying away from Gorkhaland.
"This is nothing but a political gimmick. Using Bista, the BJP is eyeing the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hill seats for the 2021 Assembly elections. To prove us wrong Bista has to raise the issue of Gorkhaland in Parliament," demanded Tamang. "Gorkhaland" has been a tight rope walk for the BJP. Spelling out the word Gorkhaland would put the saffron brigade on the back foot in the rest of Bengal which they have been eyeing for the 2021 Assembly election.