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BJP says it does not support demand for separate Gorkhaland state

He says the GTA should be empowered to address concerns of locals and protect the cultural identity of the region.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2017 23:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Darjeeling,Gorkhaland state,Kailash Vijayvargiya
Supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chant slogans before burning copies of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration agreement during a protest in Dagapur village on the outskirts of Siliguri on Tuesday.(AFP Photo)

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Tuesday said it does not support the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state, but wants the cultural identity of its people protected and their issues addressed.

“We do not support creation of a separate state,” BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said. “The demand for separate statehood grows when people feel alienated.”

Instead, he said, the Gorkha Territorial Administration should be empowered, administratively and financially to address concerns of locals and protect the cultural identity of the region.”

This is the first categorical statement from the BJP on the issue of Gorkhaland separate state, a demand that has reignited and plunged the hills into turmoil.

The fresh bout of crisis in Darjeeling and other areas have been triggered by an order of the West Bengal government making Bengali compulsory in schools.

The West Bengal unit of the BJP had remained divided on the issue with the faction from the hill pressing for a separate state, and those from the plains opposing it.

First Published: Jun 27, 2017 23:12 IST