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Centre’s ‘Gorkhaland’ meeting issue makes BJP uncomfortable in Bengal

SILIGURU: Union Home Ministry’s recent initiative on ‘Gorkhaland‘ has put West Bengal state BJP under an uncomfortable situation. While a section of the party is trying to place the initiative as sympathy to separate ‘Gorkhaland’ statehood demand in Darjeeling hills in Bengal, the state body is desperate to expose its ‘anti separatist’ stand point to save its future in the whole state.

‘Gorkhaland,’ is the proposed name of a separate state demanded by West Bengal’s Darjeeling hill dwelling people, mainly from Gorkha community, to form by splitting the hilly region. Since upraise of the demand almost half a century back, deep sentiment of hill populace around it remained as a major factor to influence Bengal’s political wind.

After issuing notice for a meeting on ‘issues related to Gorkhaland’ to take place on 7th, Union Home Ministry changed it to be on issues related to ‘Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).’ GTA is the local administrative body formed with a tripartite agreement between Centre, State and Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, the torch bearer of separate statehood demand movement.

The meeting, however, could not be meaningful today as TMC ruled Bengal Govt refused to depute representatives there raising technical issues.

While commenting on the issue, Raju Bista, the BJP MP from Darjeeling Loksabha constituency said,” We are committed to the sentiment of people from hills.” Like previous consecutive two BJP MP’s there, Bista also won election despite BJP’s miniscule ground level presence there but with full Gorkha support.

But, “No question of separate state splitting Bengal,” said R Bose, BJP Bengal state General Secretary. Understandably, state BJP is not taking risk to go against the sentiment of Bengal plains area with 41 Loksabha constituencies that never supported Gorkhaland demand.

Interestingly, from Congress to TMC or BJP, all encashed this ‘Gorkhaland’ sentiment from time to time by showing sympathy to it while hill vote banks also rendered full support to them. But none could take the statehood demand even a single step forward. But, “Their electoral gain oriented game has kept on destabilizing the whole state’s political environment. This should end immediately on greater interest,” said political observers.

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