Apolitical Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh takes up Gorkhaland statehood demand

Darjeeling, 17 May 2016: The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, an apolitical organisation of the Gorkha community, today lamented without taking names that lack of political acumen and a proper blueprint and road-map were the reasons for the failure in achieving a Gorkhaland state.

Ever since its formation, the Parisangh has chose to focus on addressing social issues concerning the community living in the hills and other parts of the state. This is the first instance that the BGP has voiced its opinion on the statehood issue even though it was one of the constituents of the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee set up in 2013 by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to take forward the statehood demand.

The GJAC comprised eight political parties including the BGP and the GJM, but it was disbanded after a few months the same year over differences within the members. BGP national president Sukh Man Moktan did not point fingers but his reference to the GJM was obvious by his statement. “There are many political parties that are demanding a separate state. That is okay as we do want a place that we can call our own. However, it is also true that these parties have failed to chalk out a proper roadmap and blueprint because of which our aspiration has remained unfulfilled even after all these years,” he said.

Apolitical Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh takes up Gorkhaland statehood demand
Apolitical Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh takes up Gorkhaland statehood demand

Citing examples, the Parisangh president said there was no clarity on the demarcation of the areas that needed to be in the proposed state or the number of districts it would encompass. He also said there was uncertainty over the number of legislators that were required or Zilla Parishads. “These are important factors when a demand for a separate state is taken up in Delhi and in Kolkata. But sadly this has been overlooked,” Moktan said.

When reminded of Bengal’s opposition and assertion that the state would never be divided, the BGP president said, “Bengal is against the statehood demand, no doubt. But we must try and convince it with the support of its people. It is important to form support groups in Kolkata and in Delhi that will pursue and talk to the governments in our favour.”

Moktan said that to lend weight and seriousness to the statehood demand, all political parties in the hills should be approached to form a centralised and streamlined movement. “There has to be a common platform for parties to take up the statehood demand. We must approach all likeminded people and organisations and only then will our demand become a reality,” said the Parisangh’s national president.

Speaking on the issue of the inclusion of the Dooars and Terai in the proposed area of a Gorkhaland state, Moktan said, “Many feel that parts of the Dooars and Terrai should also be included in the proposed area but it must be remembered that communities other than Gorkhas also reside there and their opinion and views are important.

They (non-Gorkha communities) must come forward and support the demand, and for this a strategy must be worked out.”

Coming September, the Parisangh has plans to lead a delegation of leaders from various political parties in the hills, Gorkha celebrities from the region and other states, and also try and persuade Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling to speak in support of the statehood demand in Delhi.


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