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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Opposition backs CM on Gorkhaland

Pramod Giri, Hindustan Times  Siliguri, July 31, 2013
First Published: 12:27 IST(31/7/2013) | Last Updated: 12:33 IST(31/7/2013)

Even as the UPA on Tuesday decided to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh and create a separate state of Telangana, political parties in West Bengal irrespective of their ideology have spoken in unison to rule out the possibility of Gorkhaland.

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The Congress, which heads the UPA government at the Centre, has clearly said that Bengal was divided before independence.

By creating Telangana, the separate identity of people of the region would be recognised.

Pradip Bhattacharya, the West Bengal Pradesh Congress committee president said, “The issue of Telangana and Gorkhaland cannot be compared.” Talking to Hindustan Times, Bhattacharya said “Bengal which was divided before independence can never be divided again.”

According to Bhattacharya, the solution for the hill problems is greater autonomy. The GJM might take up the issue of more autonomy with the state government and the Centre, but creation of separate state of Gorkhaland is ruled out, the PCC president said.

Echoing Bhattacharya, Rahul Sinha the BJP state president said, “There can be no comparison between creation of Telangana and demand for Gorkhaland.”

“The proposed Gorkhaland state cannot be economically and geographically viable and the question of according a separate state status to three hill subdivisions does not arise,” said Sinha.

The proposed Gorkhaland state does not even have half of a parliamentary seat area while Telangana would be viable both economically and geographically, said Sinha.

The CPM, which has always remained staunch opponent of Gorkhaland demand, has preferred to place the ball in the chief minister’s court.

Asok Bhattacharya, the former state urban development minister said, “The state government has already accepted the validity of the Gorkhaland demand in the GTA Agreement signed on July 18 2011. The tripartite agreement signed by the state government, Centre and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has clearly mentioned that the GJM has agreed to accept Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) without dropping the demand for separate state.

He added, “As the state government has already accepted the validity of Gorkhaland demand, now it is up to the chief minister to deal with the situation.”


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