Darjeeling MP, Jaswant Singh, on Friday termed the demand for a separate Gorkhaland as "just" and said the government should recognise its relevance and validity "in time".
"My view is clear. It is a just demand. It must be met in time and duly," Singh told reporters outside Parliament.
His comments come in the backdrop of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) announcing a bandh in Darjeeling Hills from December 14 for statehood, taking a cue from the Telangana issue.
The expelled BJP leader said it is a much older demand than Telangana, "first raised in 1907. It is necessary that the government recognises the relevance, the validity and the justness of this demand."
He further said such demands must be met in time to avoid protests and backlash. "If such demands are met in time, then protest is not there."
GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri talking to PTI on Thursday had said that they would observe a three-day bandh from December 14 in the Hills to press for a separate state carved out of West Bengal.
He had said their demand is over 102 years old.
Besides the bandh, a fast-unto-death will be observed by 21 GJM members in the hill areas of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, besides Siliguri in the plains, GJM President Bimal Gurung had said.