According to the notice, the 7th October meeting in Delhi will take place under chairmanship of G. Kishan Reddy, MOS, Ministry of Home Affairs. The Home Secretary of West Bengal has been invited to attend the meeting.
While reacting strongly on this, AICC member and Congress MLA Shankar Malakar said, “BJP wants to reignite separatist movement in Bengal. The notice clarifies BJP‘s intention to give hill people a false hope of Gorkhaland statehood by splitting Bengal. But we will oppose any attempt to divide Bengal.”
Top Left Front leader of Darjeeling district J. Sarkar said, “BJP always shows sudden spurt of activity on hill issues before every election. By using the word ‘Gorkhaland,’ they are trying to refuel separatist movement here.”
“Darjeeling has an autonomous development body formed by tripartite agreement between Centre State and a GJM, a major hill political force. Why that body is not being called in the meet”asked Sarkar. LF is likely to launch its movement opposing the meeting.
Spokesman of Bengal ruling party TMC from Darjeeling hills preferred silence on it.
However, condemning INC and LF, BJP West Bengal state General Secretary R. Bose said, “We consider the meeting as a platform to discuss various development issues only.”
“The word ‘Gorkhaoland’ hear doesn’t signify anyone’s recognition of any kind to separate Gorkhaland Statehood. As our state President has clarified it, BJP will never go for any split in Bengal,” he added.
Interestingly, president of GJM has also been invited to the meeting. But, address of his office mentioned in the notice indicates it to be the BJP loyal faction of the party. Naturally, workers of that have started presenting ‘Gorkhaland’ word in the notice as BJP’s inclination towards separate state.
Understandably, hard core rival to them, the TMC loyal faction of GJM could not welcome the meeting. But they cannot express it openly as that may make them appear disloyal to Gorkhaland statehood sentiment of hills.