Raju Bista seeks 'permanent political solution' for the Darjeeling hills in Lok Sabha
Darjeeling MP Raju Bista on Wednesday told Parliament that the BJP was committed to finding a “permanent political solution” for the Darjeeling hills keeping in mind the recurring demand for Gorkhaland from the region.
He said although the region comprising the hills, Terai and the Dooars was among the highest revenue generating regions, they all remained grossly underdeveloped.
“For generations, people from here have been discriminated against and deprived by the West Bengal government,” said Bista.
The MP said because of deprivation, discrimination and lack of democracy, the demand for Gorkhaland was often raised in the region.
“However, Gorkhaland state is not just a demand for development but it is also related to the identity crisis faced by 1.5 crore Gorkhas across India,” said Bista.
Bista said “recognising” the recurring demand of the statehood, the BJP was committed to “finding a permanent political solution” for the region. “I request the central government to expedite the process for a permanent political solution,” said Bista.
Before requesting the Centre to expedite the process of finding a “permanent political solution”, Bista alleged that there was a lack of grassroots democracy in the region and especially the Darjeeling hills as bureaucrats and people associated with the Trinamul Congress were running local bodies.
“No panchayat elections have been held since 2001 (in Darjeeling) and since 2017, the GTA is being run by selected nominee without holding polls,” said Bista.