Buddhadeb rules out separate Gorkhaland state

March 28th, 2009 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Siliguri, March 28 (IANS) Rubbishing the demand of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) for a separate state, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Saturday categorically said the government cannot declare Darjeeling as Gorkhaland state.
“We cannot declare Darjeeling as a separate Gorkhaland state. To form a separate state is not the solution to the problems existing in the hills,” Bhattacharjee told an open-party conference at Kanchanjangha stadium here.

“Darjeeling is internationally known as a popular tourist destination. We cannot make it a separate state. It is a pride of West Bengal.”

“We are ready to offer more administrative power and facility to the body which will rule the region,” said Bhattacharjee, who went to northern West Bengal on a two-day visit Saturday.

He also appealed to the people in the hills to vote for the ruling Left Front (LF) candidate in the general elections.

“If you want to punish those who are supporting the Gorkhaland state, please exercise your franchise in the coming Lok Sabha elections,” he urged, terming the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance in the state as “unholy nexus”.

Meanwhile, a GJM team, led by party president Biman Gurung, returned to the base after meetings with the national parties in the capital.

“We have not taken any decision on which party we will support in the April-May election. We will take that decision in the party’s central committee meeting that is scheduled to be held March 30,” Gurung said.

He said the Congress-nominated candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, Dawa Narbula, was not a suitable representative as he did not raise a single question in connection with the demand for the Gorkhaland state in the past.

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