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Mamta's party demands a separate state

india Updated: Dec 12, 2009 00:22 IST
Madan Kumar

Now, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) has demanded creation of a separate state of Santhal Paragna by carving out six northeastern districts of Jharkhand.

Taking a cue from other votaries of smaller states, an AITC leader on Friday demanded creation of a separate state in Jharkhand, which will comprise six district of the present Santhal Paragna division with its headquarters at Dumka, about 450 km northeast from the state capital.

The six tribal-dominated districts of Dumka, Godda, Jamtara, Deoghar, Sahebgunj and Pakur, which have been neglected since the carving out of Jharkhand from Bihar in November 2000, would comprise the new state, the Trinamool Congress in-charge of Santhal Pargana Ashok Murmu told Hindustan Times over phone from Dumka.

Justifying the demand, Murmu said if Manipur and Andaman with one MP each and Tripura with two MPs could be states, so could Santhal Pargana, which currently has 30 assembly constituencies and three Lok Sabha constituencies.

He said, his party, which has strong support base in the neighbouring state West Bengal, would soon launch an agitation under the leadership of the Party president and Union Rail Minister Mamta Banerjee to mobilize support for the separate state.

Murmu, who is contesting assembly elections from Dumka seat on Trinamool Congress symbol, also said, he had already taken approval of Mamta for launching such agitation. The party would also demand a special financial package from the Centre for overall development of Santhal Paragna, which was once part of the greater Bhagalpur (Bihar) district during in British period.