Gorkhaland,not Sikkim-Darjeeling unification: Former CM

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Gangtok Feb 21 (UNI) Former chief minister of Sikkim B B Gurung today strongly endorsed the stand adopted by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha(GJM) over the demand for a separate Gorkhaland.

''We endorse the stand that GJM president Bimal Gurung has taken,'' said Mr Gurung, who is also the advisor to Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. He further said that the chief minister is ready to support the demand for the creation of a separate state for the Gorkhas.

The people of Sikkim want that Darjeeling should become a separate state, said Mr Gurung. Only a separate state can fulfil the aspirations of the people of Darjeeling hills, he said, adding that the proposed Sixth Schedule is being imposed upon by GNLF leader Subash Ghisingh.

The SDF government spokesperson reminded that the Chief Minister has assured on a previous occasions that if it is necessary, the SDF government will pass a resolution in Sikkim Legislative Assembly in support of Gorkhaland.

''If the proposal comes, then it will strengthen the Gorkhaland issue and bring it to the attention of the Centre,'' Mr Gurung said.

While assuring Sikkim's support towards Gorkhaland, Mr.Gurung also dismissed the demand being made certain political groups for Sikkim-Darjeeling unification.

Now it is too late for a Sikkim-Darjeeling merger and it should have been taken up when the British rule ended in India, said Mr Gurung.

Having closely observed the Darjeeling saga since the 1980's till the present situation, Mr Gurung said that the proposed Sixth Schedule for Darjeeling will not guarantee the fulfilment of the aspirations of the Darjeeling people and accused Mr Ghisingh of fooling the people.

''It is a Himalayan blunder. Ghisingh has started his movement for land and not Sixth Schedule,'' he said.

''The people of Darjeeling have sacrifised their lives for a separate state and not for the proposed Sixth Schedule,'' Mr Gurung said. He endorsed GJM's opposition to the Sixth Schedule.

UNI BG LL RN1649

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