Gorkhaland demand supported by Sikkim leaders

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Gangtok, Aug 7 (UNI) Cutting across political barriers, major parties in Sikkim today led a signature campaign for Gorkhaland.

It also generated massive response from the people of all walks of life.

The first person to sign on the 'Gorkhaland' banner was former Chief Minister B B Gooroong, also the advisor to present Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.

He was followed by another former Chief Minister and presently president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee Nar Bahadur Bhandari.

After signing the banner, Mr Bhandari said the demand for a separate state by the people of Darjeeling was justified within the ambit of the Constitution. '' Those opposing Gorkhaland demand has no right to stay in Sikkim, '' he added.

Recalling the all round effort launched for the national recognition of Nepali language in 1992, the state Congress chief said similar strategy should be adopted for Gorkhaland demand.

Rajya Sabha MP O T Lepcha from the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) also penned his signature on the banner along with hundreds of other people.

Bikash Rai, the coordinator of the signature campaign, said they had already conducted similar campaigns in several states starting from New Delhi on June 23.

'' Started from New Delhi we have reached up to Andhra Pradesh sensitising people about our demand and the contribution to the nation by Indian Gorkhas, '' he said adding after Sikkim, the signature campaign would be taken to Assam and other Northeastern states.

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