A day after releasing its manifesto, the BJP sought to rectify the omission of Gorkhaland, saying it will “sympathetically examine” the demands of Gorkhas in West Bengal and also “take initiatives” for a permanent solution of the issues of Bodos in Assam.
“The BJP reiterates that it will sympathetically examine and appropriately consider the long pending demands of the Gorkhas, the Adivasis and other people of Darjeeling district and the Dooars region; of the Kamtapuri, Rajbongshi and other people of North Bengal (including recognition of their language); and will take initiatives for the permanent solution of the long pending issues of the Bodos and other tribals of Assam, the people of Sikkim, Leh, Ladakh, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep and other such neglected regions,” said a addendum issued by the BJP.
The original manifesto had glossed over the issues regarding Gorkhas and Bodos, saying the “BJP has always stood for greater decentralisation through smaller states.” It had not mentioned the names of the communities.
Gorkha Janamukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung sought to take the credit for the revision. “The GJM had demanded the inclusion of such a sentence — a long-pending demands of the Gorkhas and Adivasis —- and I am happy that the BJP released an addendum to the manifesto last night,” he said in a Facebook post.
The GJM, which is spearheading the movement for a separate Gorkhaland state, is supporting S S Ahluwalia, the BJM’s candidate in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.