BJP’s Darjeeling MP meets PM Modi seeking ‘permanent political solution’
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Darjeeling MP Raju Singh Bista met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday and sought his intervention in finding a ‘permanent political solution’ to the problem in the North Bengal hills at the earliest, the lawmaker said after the meeting.
‘Permanent political solution’ for the Darjeeling hills – where an often-violent movement for separate statehood of Gorkhaland has kept successive state governments looking for counter-strategies – was the BJP’s electoral promise for Darjeeling.
Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress (TMC) had earlier alleged that the term actually refers to BJP’s plan for separating Darjeeling from the state. The BJP won the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat for the third successive time in the 2019 general elections with help from the majority of the pro-Gorkhaland, hill-based outfits.
“I have requested the Prime Minister’s intervention with regard to arriving at a permanent political solution as committed to in our 2019 Sankalp Patra,” Bista said in a statement after the meeting.
“I also informed him about the discrimination people here have had to face over the decades, and the absolute lack of development in the region,” Bista said, and added Modi advised him to take up the issue with Union home minister Amit Shah.
No TMC leader agreed to comment on the development on Wednesday, arguing that the chief minister herself holds the portfolio of hill affairs.
“Only the chief minister will comment,” said a senior minister.
“The issue is too sensitive and being looked after by the chief minister herself,” said a TMC member of Rajya Sabha.