Friday, November 16, 2007

Rajiv Gandhi was ready for Gorkhaland: Bhandari

image Gangtok, 13 Nov: Responding to allegations made by GNLF leaders towards Sikkim leaders during a public meeting held at Kalimpong recently, Mr. Narbahadur Bahadur Bhandari called a press meet here at Congress office.

The agitation of Gorkhaland was almost succeeded during eighties, but unexpectedly Mr. Subash Ghisingh settled on Hill Council by signing the tripartite agreement, said Mr. Bhandari, recalling decades old Gorkhaland agitation.

Late Rajiv Gandhi and central government were completely convinced with Gorkhaland agitation and its activists. 1988 Tripartite Agreement signed by Mr. Ghisingh, is the key cause of today’s internal conflict in Darjeeling hills, affirmed Mr. Bhandari.

Gorkhaland is only a solution to fulfill the aspirations and dreams of people from Darjeeling hills, Dooars and Siliguri. And Sixth Schedule is their privilege, which they should acknowledge but not setting aside the demand of Gorkhaland, recommended Mr. Narbahadur Bhandari, the former chief minister of Sikkim.

Were there consent of people and its representatives during the Sixth Schedule MOS agreement? If it not so then it is undemocratic, expressed Mr. Bhandari.

Sikkim had its significant supports to Gorkhaland activists during the Gorkhaland agitation; we supported Darjeeling selflessly, besides having our numerous problems, we fed thousands in a day, wounded activists were treated in state hospitals, many times we saved Mr. Ghisingh from CRPF and reached him in secured place by helicopter, reminded Mr. Bhandari.

Reacting sharply to the comments made by GNLF leaders during Kalimpong public meeting “leaders of Sikkim are not allowed to speak about Darjeeling”, Mr. Bhandari said, which leaders, they should able to mention name clearly. The person who is speaking so, his own wife is working here in Sikkim.

I have rights to talk about not only Darjeeling but any part of country where Gorkha community is likely to face crisis.

The people of Sikkim had also tolerated many difficulties during closure of 40 days Darjeeling hills strike; development process was hampered, economically suffered. In case of same circumstance persists again, Sikkim should not suffer, said Mr. Narbahadur Bhandari, president of Sikkim congress committee.