Jaswant Singh pitches for separate Gorkhaland state

June 16th, 2009 - 1:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 16 (ANI): A delegation led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh met Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram here on Monday.

The delegation comprising representatives of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) called for an early resumption of tripartite talks to settle the long-standing demand for a separate hill state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of West Bengal.

“There was discussion on tripartite talks, a demand has been made to resume the tripartite talks,” said Singh.

The delegation also asked Chidambaram to allocate adequate funds for the cyclone-hit Darjeeling district.

“We have informed him regarding our demands. He heard us sympathetically and we have specially asked him to give adequate share to Darjeeling district from the funds given by the Central government,” Singh said.

At least 1,200 people died in the first Gorkhaland campaign in the 1980s, but protests ended a few years later after Gorkha leaders accepted limited autonomy.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is around one million out of 80 million, although the overwhelming majority are concentrated in Darjeeling. (ANI)

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