PRADIP LOHAGUN, KALIMPONG, 25 Feb 2014: Rural Development minister Jairam Ramesh’s statement that the Congress government will not support the Gorkhaland demand has evoked strong condemnation by pro-Gorkhaland forces. Ramesh’s statement has come at a juncture when the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is gearing up to send a delegation to Delhi to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland in the wake of Telangana. His comment also clarifies the Centre is not keen to hold talks with GJM representatives on the statehood issue.
Slamming the minister, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh leader Pravakar Dewan said one’s constitutional right cannot be denied. He asserted the Congress carved out Telangana with an eye on the Lok Sabha election and Ramesh’s comment is a bid to gain political mileage.
Dewan also said the inability of the local leadership is another reason for the apparent fizzling out of the Gorkhaland movement.
“It is due to our weakness that heavyweight national leaders are making such comments,” he noted.
The BGP leader also disapproved of the political developments going on in the hills on the pretext of statehood. In a thinly-veiled reference to the GJM’s announcement to launch the statehood movement again, he said, “We are ourselves responsible for a Gorkhaland state not come into being till now. Instead of a proper movement, only politics is taking place here.”
CPRM Kalimpong unit spokesperson Mohan Paudyal also lashed out at Jairam Ramesh saying the minister has to go against the Constitution if he opposes the statehood demand. Speaking to journalists today, he said, “Jairam Ramesh is not a person above the Constitution. His statement is politically motivated and election oriented.”
Meanwhile, AIGL general secretary Pratap Khati alleged the minister’s statement indicates a tie-up between the GJM and Congress. “The minister made such a statement on the suggestion of the GJM,” he claimed.
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