Congress leader demands statehood for Andaman and Nicobar

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (UNI) Congress MP from Andaman and Nicobar Islands Manoranjan Bhakta's hunger strike for statehood for the Union Territory entered its fourth day today.

Talking to UNI over the phone from Port Blair, Mr Bhakta said, ''If the Centre could grant statehood to so many small states in the Northeast, why cannot they give us the same statehood status.'' He said many northeastern states had no source to earn revenues but the island was a high revenue earning area and that too without much help.

Apart from this, the Centre was setting up so many Central universities, but so far no varsity had been set up in the island.

Similarly, the Centre was setting up so many tribal councils in states but Andaman and Nicobar Islands had none.

''In the absence of the facilities, how can the development of the region was possible?'' he questioned.

''This time we are not going to give up the agitation without securing our statehood demand,'' he said.

UNI BKS KD RN1917

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