Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bhandari backs Gorkhaland demand

GANGTOK, June 30: The president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC), Nar Bahadur Bhandari has said that the demand for the creation of Gorkhaland is a constitutional and democratic demand of the people of Darjeeling and its territorial neighborhood.
Mr. Bhandari, who is also the former Chief Minister of Sikkim said that a separate State will also accelerate the process of growth and development, both economically, socially and politically and will fulfill the aspiration of the people of the region.
“The democratic movement of the people need not be suppressed by force or other dubious means as that may cause more turmoil and chaos in the region. It must be borne in mind that the new states of Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand have made remarkable growth only after their having been carved out from the states they were a part of,” he said in a press release.
While stating that the Constitution of India in its Article 3, Clause (a), and Clause (c) provides access to the formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states, Mr Bhandari informs that the Parliament may by law form a new state by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to any State or diminish the area of any State.
“When Uttaranchal, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand could be carved out for better governance, administration and for the welfare of the indigenous people, why should the demand for a separate Gorkhaland be met with step-motherly treatment particularly when it refers to the identity, social status and economic growth of the indigenous people residing in the region. Having carefully watched the movement, I find it democratic, constitutional, legitimate and legal and those who oppose this, are in fact anti-democratic, anti-constitutional and even anti-national,” Mr. Bhandari said.
He personally feels that the demand for the state of Gorkhaland is bonafide, legal and within the parameters of the Constitutional provisions and therefore, deserves consideration of the concerned authority in order to enable the people to live in peace, to improve their quality of life, and to be equal partners in the growth and development of India.