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Subramanian Swamy Vows to Make Gorkhaland Union Territory, ‘Won’t Give Up’ Until BJP Fulfils Promise

File photo of Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy.

File photo of Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy.

Gorkha Janamukti Morch founder Bimal Gurung expressed his gratitude to the BJP leader for supporting the Gorkhaland movement.

Kolkata: BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, who had last week urged his party to fulfill the promise of making Gorkhaland a union territory, on Monday he is determined to take the movement forward and won’t give up till it becomes a reality.

A team of Gorkha Janamukti Morch (GJM) leaders, including Nari Morcha’s Urmila Rumba and senior leader Lopsung Lama, met Swamy and thanked him for lending support to the long pending demand of the Gorkhas for a separate land.

While talking to the GJM delegates, Swamy, said, “We may have a function in Darjeeling in May. Obviously, it should be made a union territory. I have already said that ‘Gorkhaland’ as a separate UT is a demand that we have promised to you. We have three Lok Sabha seats out of you.”

When one of delegates asked it the dream would get fulfilled soon, the BJP leader said, “How can I say how long it will take? People of Uttarakhand asked me the same thing. Former UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said he will not agree...We made him agree.”

“I already told you, leave that to me. I am committed that it will be a Union Territory of Gorkhaland. I will not give up till it happens,” Swamy said.

Later Swamy tweeted, “A delegation of Gorkhas from Darjeeling came visiting to thank me for supporting their just cause. Gorkhas have sacrificed their Darjeeling seat thrice for BJP since 2009. In 2019 they proposed my name but I had 3 years in RS left so said no.”

On February 11, he had tweeted, “Time for the BJP to start looking at our 2014-to date the party’s organisational culture. In many. States we had made promises we could not keep. Gorkhaland is top priority. Must make it a Union Territory as promised.”

GJM founder Bimal Gurung also expressed his gratitude to Swamy for supporting their cause. “I am most thankful to Dr. Subramanian Swamy for raising the Gorkhaland issue at the highest level. He also wrote to the Home Minister to take necessary steps in this matter,” wrote Gurung.

While Swamy is openly supporting the issue, his party leaders in Bengal are opposed the idea of a separate state.

On several occasions in the past, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh has said that the BJP is sympathetic to the Gorkhaland statehood demand, but it never promised a separate state.

The BJP’s 2019 election manifesto said, “We will recognise the 11 left out Indian Gorkha sub-tribes as Schedule Tribe. We are committed to work towards finding a permanent political solution to the issue of Darjeeling Hills, Siliguri Terai and Dooars region.”

Over the years, Gorkhas felt that they were cheated by the political parties in order to win the polls.

In 2017, Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) has lodged a missing complaint against SS Ahluwalia (former Darjeeling MP) for not visiting his constituency despite violent unrest for more than a month. Angry over Ahluwalia’s absence, GNLF supporters put up several missing posters of him across Darjeeling.

Ahluwalia, who won from Darjeeling in 2014, faced severe criticism from the locals for his absence from the Hills throughout the agitation.

In August 2013, the Gorkhaland Task Force, an alliance of pro-Gorkhaland political parties, had filed a missing person report at the Kalimpong police station against former Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh.

Then, the Gorkhaland Task Force (GTF) had alleged that the BJP leader had been missing from Darjeeling at a time when the entire region was agitating for a separate state.

first published:February 17, 2020, 13:26 IST