Gorkhaland bill should first passed by Mamata Banerjee – S.S. Ahluwalia

KALIMPONG 15 Apr 2016 Darjeeling MP Surendra Singh Ahluwalia today said the bill for Gorkhaland should be first passed by chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her cabinet and send it to Delhi where the Centre would have no problems in passing it.

Addressing a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha election rally in Kalimpong’s motor stand area, the MP was responding to the suggestion made by the Jan Andolan Party from the same spot a few days ago that the GJM should place such a bill in Parliament.

GJM president Bimal Gurung too spoke on the same lines although the better part of his speech was directed at denouncing the JAP and the chief minister. He said this could probably be the last time that the Darjeeling hills will be sending MLAs to the Bengal Assembly because the next time would be for a state of Gorkhaland.

Gorkhaland bill should first passed by Mamata Banerjee - S.S. Ahluwalia
Darjeeling MP Surendra Singh Ahluwalia

“Earlier, people used to ask me how a state could be formed by just three sub-divisions. As Mamata is supposedly creating a new district of Kalimpong, there will therefore, be two districts under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. But why should she create only two districts?” wondered Gurung, who is also the chief executive of the GTA.

Meanwhile, Ahluwalia said, “More districts should be formed out of Kurseong, Gorubathan, Salbari and so on. No one is against this as more districts should be formed for the sake of good governance. It is for good governance that Uttarakhand was created out of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand from Bihar. Similarly from Madhya Pradesh the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out. If small states are created, there will be good governance. If Mamata wants to do likewise by making new districts, she is welcome. It was the Vidhan Sabha that endorsed the creation of the GTA now Harka Bahadur Chhetri wants a bill for statehood and she should pass it. If she does so and forwards it to Delhi, the Centre will also pass it. Delhi will have no problem in passing such a bill.”

Picking up the thread, Gurung said, “The JAP president has a good relationship with the Bengal chief minister, so why does he not demand the bill be passed by the state? We are doing what is needed to be done at the Centre.” And growing in confidence by the sight of the huge gathering, the GJM president further said, “We will win 110 per cent and once victorious, we will address local issues such as of drinking water. We should all stop useless discussions as that will not benefit anyone and is a waste of time. The doors of the GTA are open and any one can come to us and table their problems.”

Turning back to the statehood issue, Gurung said the next elections could see people voting to send legislators to a Gorkhaland state assembly. “The words ‘Territorial’ and ‘Administration’ will be soon gone from the GTA and only the word Gorkhaland remain. Mamata insists Bengal will not be divided, but we are not asking for the division of Bengal; we are only asking for our rights,” he asserted.

Reacting to the statements made by Ahluwalia and Gurung, JAP Bureau member Anmole Prasad said, “It is not mandatory for the state to pass a bill in approval of the creation of a new state as such a bill is rather passed by the Lok Sabha and then sent to the state government for its views. All we are asking is that the process should be started.” He also alleged that most of the people who had come for the GJM public meeting today were not from Kalimpong.


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