Darjeeling (West Bengal) [India], April 13 (ANI): The BJP will bring a political solution to the Gorkha problem and protect Gorkha and Nepalis after coming to power in West Bengal, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday.
Addressing a public meeting here, Shah said, "The three Darjeeling seats are very important for the BJP. On one side, there will be a victory on 197 seats and on another three from this Darjeeling region. Gorkhas need to be brought to the mainstream. Gorkha and Nepalis will be protected by BJP. They have always sacrificed themselves for the nation.""In 1986-88, Communists flamed fires on the hills and shot and killed over 1,200 Gorkhas! We have not forgotten that! Didi has continued the trend in the last 10 years. Our Constitution has the solution to every problem. The double-engine BJP government will bring a political solution to the Gorkha problem after forming the government in Bengal. You will not have to revolt," the Union Home Minister appealed to the poeple.
He further accused the successive state governments of West Bengal for halting the development of Darjeeling.
"Darjeeling is one of the most beautiful cities in India and is one of the oldest established cities in India. It received the first electric connection in India, in 1897. India's second oldest municipality was built here in 1850. Darjeeling has played a great role in the independence of the country. After independence, the Congress, then the Communist and now Didi, put a full stop to the development of Darjeeling," said the Union Home Minister.
"11 leftover Gorkha sub-castes want Scheduled Tribe status, a matter that has been pending for years. The BJP government wanted to resolve this, but Mamata Ji did not attend any meeting on this issue. There has been a lot of exploitation of tea plantation workers in Bengal. We pledge to raise the wages of tea plantation workers to Rs 350," stated Shah.
He further alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stopped the implementation of the Forest Rights Act in West Bengal.
"The Forest Rights Act is implemented everywhere in the country, except Bengal. Didi has stopped its implementation. We will implement the Forest Rights Act 2006 on the Darjeeling Hills and you will enjoy all the rights under the regulation," he stated.
Shah further said, "From Darjeeling, I am saying that after the formation of the BJP government in Bengal, the cases of agitation against the Gorkha brothers will be withdrawn within a week. We will change Darjeeling Municipality into the Darjeeling Municipal Corporation. The BJP will fight anyone for the respect of our Gorkha brothers. We will work to give official status to the Gorkha language."While starting his speech, Shah remembered Tenzing Norgay, who had first scaled Mount Everest summit. He wore a traditional Gorkha cap to embrace the culture of North Bengal.
Polling in the Darjeeling district will be held during the fifth phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections on April 17. (ANI)