Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha on Sunday said a dialogue must be initiated with those demanding a separate Gorkhaland state and the issue thoroughly examined, and that it should not be kept lingering for long. A key leader of the ruling TRS, Kavitha, however, did not state if the demand was legitimate or otherwise. West Bengal’s Darjeeling district has been on the boil over a separate state demand and witnessed widespread clashes between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha activists and the police. One person was killed in the violent protests that returned to Darjeeling on June 8, after a gap of a few years.
Kavitha said even during the agitation for creation of Telangana, which was formed three years ago after bifurcating Andhra Pradesh, there were movements pushing for Vidarbha and Gorkhaland states, and the TRS always held the view that every demand had to be treated and looked at separately. “We said (at that time) kindly examine the merits of the case individually. So, I believe now also the Gorkhaland issue has to be examined properly from its people’s point of view,” the MP from Nizamabad in Telangana told PTI here.
“I would not able to comment ‘yes’ (it should be created), ‘no’ (should not be), because I do not know what the ground situation is. I believe every case has to be considered on its own merit,” she said. Asked if she thought the demand for a separate Gorkhaland is “legitimate”, she noted that India itself is a combination of so many diverse cultures. “All of us want to assert our own independent identity which is a good thing because we have been united despite being so diverse in our cultural backdrop. But when it comes to political decision-making, I believe rest of the issues also have to be considered,” she said.
“I would not say it’s a legitimate demand or an illegitimate demand. It has to be thoroughly examined,” the daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said. But Kavitha said one problem she sees with Indian system of considering statehood demands is that “we keep them pending for too long”. “Telangana demand was there for 60 years, Gorkhaland demand has been there for more than 75-80 years is what I read in the papers. So, instead of leaving these issues pending, a dialogue with people who are demanding has to be taken up as soon as possible,” she said.
Asked if the TRS is in favour of small states, Kavitha said this has been the party’s stand since the beginning of the Telangana movement. “Although we are fundamentally supporting small states, each case has to be examined in its own light, and certain sensitivities, being borderline states, they have to be taken into consideration. Fundamentally, we are in favour of small states, but each case differs,” she said.