Bhandari supports Gorkha state in Darjeeling

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Gangtok, Jun 17 (UNI) Former chief minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari today warned the Union Government not to allow any "ad-hoc comments" from any Central leaders on Gorkhaland issue except the Union Home Ministry in order to avoid any unwanted 'provocation' to the Darjeeling hill people.

Mr Bhandari, also the president of state unit of the Congress party, has slammed the 'No Gorkhaland' statements of External Affairs minister Pranab Mukerjee and Information and Broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi.

He said the Union Home Ministry led by Shivraj Patil was the correct body to comment on the issue.

"Union Home Ministry should carefully select a spokesperson and provocation should be avoided on the sensitive Gorkhaland issue", said Mr Bhandari.

He said that a tri-partite meeting between Centre, Darjeeling leaders and West Bengal government should be held with 'no preconditions'.

Stating the GJM's demand for a separate land was within the framework of the Indian Constitution, Bhandari said that if the Centre was adamant on not giving 'Gorkhaland' then why other new states like Uttarkhand and Jharkhand were created.

Mr Bhandari also took the state government to the task on the NH 31 A blockade which began from today.

The state government response was limited only on food items. The government must form a core committee to regularly brief the Home Ministry on the problems Sikkim was facing due to the disturbances in West Bengal, he said.

UNI BG PC RN1702

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