Darjeeling MP and expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh today raised in the Lok Sabha the demand for creation of Gorkhaland state saying the people of the region were already "emotionally separated" from rest of West Bengal.
Speaking in the House for the first time after being sacked from BJP in August, Singh made a strong plea for an appeal from Parliament to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to withdraw its four-day strike that began today and participate in the talks scheduled for December 21.
In this regard, he reached out to L K Advani, "my former colleague with whom I have had the pleasure of sitting with for four decades", asking him to join such an appeal.
Singh reminded Advani about the mention of separate Gorkhaland in BJP's manifesto.
Responding to it, Advani said since his name had been mentioned by "my colleague" in the context of the manifesto, he would say that a Gorkha delegation would be meeting him.
"Appeal of this kind will have signal effect," Singh said.
Pressing for creation of Gorkhaland state, Singh said having small states is not a matter of principle but a necessity for administrative efficiency.
"It is not separation... The valiant nationalists (of Gorkha areas) are emotionally separated from rest of West Bengal. Geographically also, they are distant," the former External and Finance Minister said.