Gorkhaland supporters called for a bandh in Darjeeling for their own state while RLD leader Ajit Singh threatened to resume the agitation for a separate Harit Pradesh, as the planned statehood for Telangana sparked fresh demands on Thursday to create new states.
With the Centre agreeing to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh, it is expected to be tested in the backdrop of demands for at least seven other new states besides Gorkhaland in West Bengal and Harit Pradesh or Kisan Pradesh to be carved out from western UP. Telangana will be the 29th state in the Indian Union as and when it is created.
There have been muted calls for creating Mithilanchal in Bihar, Coorg in Karnataka and Saurashtra in Gujarat.
"Since Telangana has been approved by the Centre on the lines of the Gorkhaland statehood demand, our demand for a separate state carved out from West Bengal should also be conceded by the Centre," GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri told PTI from Darjeeling.
"Ours is a 102-year-old demand. We should be given justice and we have called a three-day bandh from December 14 in Darjeeling to press for it," Giri, who left for Delhi at the head of a four-member GJM team to take up the issue, said.
A fast-unto-death by 21 GJM members would also begin from tomorrow in the hill areas of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, besides Siliguri in the plains, GJM President Bimal Gurung said.
Ajit Singh said people by and large have accepted the need for Harit Pradesh.
"Rahul Gandhi also said he is in favour of a separate Bundelkhand (carved out of MP and UP). So it is a question now when the government moves. But if the government does not move we will start our agitation (for Harit Pradesh) again,".