When Jaswant Singh arrives in Darjeeling on April 7, he may have to face a few unpleasant questions as the carefully crafted words of the BJP manifesto do not pledge the formation of Gorkhaland, which was a precondition for the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha’s support.
The word “Gorkhaland” or the phrase “separate state for Gorkhas” did not feature in the BJP manifesto. What featured was the party’s support for the formation of smaller states and its assurance to sympathetically and appropriately consider the long-pending demands of the Gorkhas.
However, not all are willing to buy this logic in the Hills. Madan Tamang, All India Gorkha League (AIGL) president, said: “Delhi’s jugglery of words will not work this time. If they can specify Telangana, why not a separate state for Gorkhas?” The AIGL will confirm its poll stand after a Central Committee meeting on April 5.
The Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist decided to play it safe. “We have not seen the manifesto yet,” said R.B. Rai, general secretary.
“The BJP has announced its support for the formation of smaller states and has assured to examine and consider the long-pending demand of the Gorkhas. Gorkhaland is a more than 100-year-old demand,” Roshan Giri, GJM general secretary, told HT.