NCP demands restoration of lost territory to Sikkim

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Gangtok, Apr 14 (UNI) Lambasting the Pawan Chamling government in Sikkim for its lackadaisical attitude, former MLA and Nationalist Congress Party's Sikkim unit president Ashok Tsong today demanded restoration of territories of Darjeeling, Doors and Siliguri to Sikkim.

Reiterating his demands at the launch of NCP's Sikkim unit, of which he was appointed as the unit president, Mr Tsong said, ''These territories of Darjeeling, Duars, and Siliguri, extending upto the Mechi river, rightfully belongs to the people of Sikkim and the freedom that the people of Gorkhaland were looking for in West Bengal, can only be attained if they come and initiate the movement from Sikkim.'' ''The fight should not be for a separate Gorkhaland, since the land actually belongs to Sikkim,'' he said and added that Subash Ghisingh and later Bimal Gurung's movement towards freedom for the Gorkha people can be successful only by integrating these territories with Sikkim.

Claiming that no party in Sikkim has yet made a positive demand for the restoration of the lost land of the state, he said that historically, this region belongs to the Sikkimese monarch and ''We want it back...every inch of it. We make this demand not from the West Bengal Government but from the Centre''.

Asserting his demands, Mr Tsong said during the initial stage of the movement for Gorkhaland, West Bengal government had, in a white paper, admitted that the land in question originally belonged to Sikkim and Bhutan.

Urging the people of Sikkim to join hands with his party, Mr Tsong further said Sikkimese should now step-up and join hands with the NCP in getting back their lost land and unite for greater development of the state.

Taking a dig at the Chamling government for their ''corrupt activities'' and lack lustre attitude, he asked the people of Sikkim to support his party, ''since NCP, being a national party can only help the develop their own state uplift its own communities.

Speaking on the several communities that have so far been ''overlooked'', he said the Limbu and Tamang communities should be alloted their due seats in the state Assembly before the 2009 elections and added that Sikkim should be declared a tribal state.

Speaking on the inclusion of the new territory and creation of greater Sikkim, the former MLA old Sikkim will be protected under Article 371(f) and the laws applicable to the Sikkimese territory that is presently under the West Bengal government will remain status quo.

After the integration of the lost territory, Sikkim will regain 50 per cent of its land, which was lost after 1975, when the the state was merged with the Indian Territory.

NCP North East in-charge Jimmy George, who was here to oversee the inauguration of the party unit, said the NCP is a national party and plays a big role in the country's political scenario and will do so in Sikkim in the future. ''Sikkim needs to develop further and for that it needs the support of a national party like the NCP,'' he added.

''Our demands are genuine and we will discuss the issue in the upcoming central body meeting of the party,''Mr George said adding that he was confident that the NCP would be able to gain support of the people in brining about development in the state.

Delegates of Gorkha Natonal Congress, Darjeeling Wing, who were also present at the function, submitted a memorandum to Mr George requesting the NCP to take up the issue of the restoration.

NCP member D D Adhikary was also present here to oversee the party unit launch.

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