Darjeeling BJP MP Raju Bista on Thursday said he had taken up with the Centre the demand for Scheduled Tribe status for 11 Gorkha communities.
The clarification comes in the wake of an indefinite hunger strike by an office-bearer of a faction of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) in Darjeeling, seeking a timeline from Bista for meeting two key demands of Gorkha people by the Centre. The demands are Gorkhaland and the ST tag for the 11 communities.The fast unto death by S.P Sharma, the ABGL (Bharati Tamang faction) general secretary, continued for the fifth day on Thursday.
“I have requested the Union government to expedite the process of granting ST status to Gorkhas without further delay. I have raised this issue in Parliament and mentioned that till Independence, the entire Gorkha community was known as hill tribes but later, this status was taken away without any consultation with community members,” Bista said in a press release.
On Thursday, he met the Union health minister, urging him to upgrade Darjeeling and Kalimpong district hospitals to medical colleges.