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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Sikkim government denies going slow on Gorkhaland resolution

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Siliguri, June 18, 2013
First Published: 10:09 IST(18/6/2013) | Last Updated: 10:14 IST(18/6/2013)

The Sikkim government has rubbished news reports that claimed it had been dragging it's feet in sending a resolution passed in its assembly on the formation of Gorkhaland to the Union government.

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Issuing a clarification on its position on the resolution, a press release by the public relations department of the Sikkim government read, “The resolution was forwarded to GK Pillai, then Union home secretary by ND Chingapa, then chief secretary of Sikkim vide (D.O. No.273/ CS/SKM/2011/562) on May 19, 2011.”

The resolution in question was tabled and passed by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly on March 31 and pledged moral support to the cause of carving out a separate Gorkhaland state in the neighbouring Darjeeling Hills. The resolution held the cause as genuine, legally justified and within the parameters of the Constitution.

However, the response to an RTI query has since revealed that despite more than two years to its passage, the resolution has not yet reached the Union home ministry. In its reply to the RTI application by Bishnu Prasad Sharma, a pro-Gorkhaland activist, on May 6, the Union home ministry disclaimed any knowledge of the resolution, saying, “This ministry has not received any resolution from the Government of Sikkim regarding the formation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.”

But, the Sikkim government in its press release said that its home department has the necessary papers to prove that the resolution had been sent to the Centre. “The Government of Sikkim denies reports that the resolution was not forwarded to the Government of India,” the release said. “The position of the government of Sikkim with regard to Gorkhaland continues to remain the same and such baseless and unfounded allegations were probably made with the intention to cause a rift between the peace loving people of Sikkim and Darjeeling,” the release read. “Nevertheless, the state government would enquire with the Union ministry of home as to why it said it didn’t get the resolution,” the release said.

The RTI revelation came just days after Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling openly batted for the Gorkhaland cause during a visit to Bengal on June 7.

Talking to reporters, Chamling justified the demand for a separate state, saying, “I believe that our country should have no fewer than 50 states, so they could governed effectively.”

Chamling’s remarks followed a clear pitch for statehood at the recent chief ministers’ conference in the Capital, with Sikkim urban development minister DB Thapa voicing the demand for Gorkhaland.


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