first_img The party has been scheduling meetings to discuss the issue, including one held on Tuesday afternoon. Sources said security concerns also influenced the party’s line. “As a rule, we favour small States; it was under the Vajpayee government that Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh were created. Darjeeling, however, is too tiny to become a separate State, and it shares the border with Nepal,” a senior office-bearer said.BJP prospects in StateThe BJP won the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in 2014 (Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs S.S. Ahluwalia is the member from Darjeeling), and it has been aggressive in its plan to expand in the rest of West Bengal. The agitation led by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has found the party wrong-footed. Hence, support for the Statehood demand may affect the party’s position in the rest of the State. GJM supporters intensify protests Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP general secretary in charge of West Bengal, said on Tuesday that the party did not favour a separate Gorkhaland.“The BJP is not in favour of a Gorkha State, but we do want the issue raised by those demanding a separate State — protection of their culture and identity — be addressed,” Mr. Vijaywargiya said. “We believe that successive governments in West Bengal did not empower the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) enough to address the genuine grievances of the people. The GTA was set up in 1988 after an agitation. The people had expectations. When that didn’t happen, the agitation started again,” he said. “We want the State government to address all issues, and any solution has to come from the State.”Also Readlast_img

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