Ahluwalia Rules Out Separate State In Darjeeling Hills


Agartala: Union minister S S Ahluwalia on Thursday ruled out the possibility of forming separate states in West Bengal’s Darjeeling hills and in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council.

“In case of forming a new state by carving out any territory, the respective state would have to send an official proposal and have to furnish logic behind forming new state,” he said.

Neither West Bengal nor Tripura governments had so far sent any such proposal, he said. “So, the question of forming new states in West Bengal and Tripura does not arise,” the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Agriculture told reporters here.

Ahluwalia stressed on talks to solve the problems in Darjeeling. I, as an MP from Darjeeling, would say that all problems could be solved through negotiation. If problems could be solved through bi-partite talks it is good and if that fails, then we have to opt for tri-partite talks,” he said.

He said the Centre was interested in empowering the tribal councils or hill councils and in that case also specific proposals would have to be proposed to the Centre on the basis of which action plans could be chalked out.

The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) has demanded formation of a separate state by carving out the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), which forms two third of the state territory.

“This demand is not practical. Tripura is a small state and there is no question of forming a separate state. Likewise, there is no possibility of forming any state in Darjeeling of West Bengal,” he said.

However, he said, if there is specific proposal from the states for development of those areas, the Centre would respond to it.

“Ultimately, development is required. If people’s problems could be solved through proper developments, these demands would wither away,” he added.