A BJP delegation, led by state president Dilip Ghosh, will visit Darjeeling Hills this week to meet leaders from the Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM on the Gorkhaland issue.
The delegation will visit Kalimpong on October 4 and Darjeeling the next day.
When contacted, Ghosh said the delegation will interact with locals and GJM leaders to understand their problems. “We are leaving for Darjeeling tomorrow night. We will be in Kalimpong on October 4 and in Darjeeling the following day. Earlier, GJM leaders had met us in Kolkata… they will meet us again in the Hills. We will hold talks with them and interact with locals to understand their problems,” he added.
BJP is the first party to send its delegation to the Hills, following the withdrawal of the indefinite shutdown over the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. Following Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s appeal, GJM had on September 26 withdrawn the indefinite shutdown in the Hills, which had continued for 104 days.
Expelled GJM leader Binay Tamang, who was recently made the chairman of the Board of Administrators under the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) by the state government, said BJP leaders were visiting Darjeeling to add “fuel to the fire”. “Normalcy has returned to the Hills and they are now trying to add fuel to the fire. They are coming here to meet a section of leaders, who have been rejected by the people. The visit could create a law and order situation here,” he added.
Asking BJP leaders to clear their stand on Gorkhaland, Tamang said: “West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh and his party leaders, including Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia, are coming. We had elected BJP candidates from Darjeeling to the Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014. In the party’s election manifesto, our demand for Gorkhaland was mentioned.
But till now, neither BJP nor the NDA government had cleared their stand on Gorkhaland.” BJP leaders should first make their stand clear before setting foot in Darjeeling, he added.
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