Siliguri: BJP has once again promised that it will try finding a permanent solution to the demand for statehood in Darjeeling Hills, evoking a mixed reaction in the region.
Also, the party has said that if elected back to power, it will recognise 11 Gorkha communities as Scheduled Tribes.
The promises have been made in BJP’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections released on Monday 8 April.
“We are committed to work towards finding a permanent political solution to the issue of Darjeeling Hills, Siliguri Terai and Dooars region”, a point on page 36 of the manifesto reads.
The same page contains another point wherein recognition of 11 communities of the “Indian Gorkhas” as Scheduled Tribes has been promised, along with the assurance for reservations for Limboo and Tamang communities in the Sikkim Assembly.
However, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the president of Kalimpong headquartered Jan Andolan Party (JAP) who is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Darjeeling seat, has pointed out that BJP made the same promise in its manifestoes in 2009 and 2014.
“The reality is that in the last five years they have done nothing to fulfill the promises. Even Prime Minister Modi himself announced in 2016 that the 11 Gorkha communities will be accorded Scheduled Tribe status but this has not been implemented,” Chhetri told a news conference in Siliguri.
Noted psephologist and founder of Swaraj Abhiyan political party, Yogendra Yadav, was present at the news conference.
Yadav is visiting the region to campaign for JAP, which he considers a constituent for alternative politics in India.