New Delhi, Aug 4: The Congress-ruled UPA government has said that is not in favour of instigating the Gorkhaland movement in northern West Bengal to corner the Mamata Banerjee government in the state. It has expressed its willingness to support the state government not only in terms of physical force but also to convince the dissenting Gorkha Janmukti Morhca (GJM) leaders through talks.
Banerjee also reportedly told Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that it will be a grave mistake if the latter encouraged the problem in the Gorkhaland hills and the Congress has also apparently agreed to this view.
According to one section in the Congress, instigating the Gorkhaland trouble could lead to worse situation in other Congress-ruled states where demands of separate states have intensified. Assam has been bearing the brunt of violent statehood movements. Maharashtra is another Congress-ruled state where the demand for a separate Vidarbha has gained momentum.
But the question is: Why hasn't the Congress acted more responsibly to douse the flames in Gorkhaland all these years? It is right that Mamata Banerjee has failed to reach any solution on this complex problem at a strategic location but wasn't it a bigger responsibility of the Centre to look in this matter, given the national security concern?
Banerjee tried to take credit for the tripartite agreement which was reached over the hills administration in July 2011 and once it failed to deliver on expected lines, she started blaming the Centre for the debacle.
The Centre should have treated the Gorkhaland issue more responsibly
Why didn't the Centre take charge of the situation from the very beginning, for Banerjee's administrative capacity could never be trusted? Why didn't the Centre ask the logic behind inserting the word 'Gorkha' in the name of the agreement that was reached two years ago (Gorkha Territorial Council)? It was bound to give rise to grave challenges and it eventually has.
The Centre must take care of the fact that West Bengal, being a border state, required a better vigilance and petty differences between the Congress and Trinamool Congress couldn't be allowed to prevail over serious issues.
Is the Congress-led UPA actually aiming to reap benefit from the Gorkhaland trouble in the next Lok Sabha election by cornering Banerjee? It might say otherwise, but the possibility can not be ruled out. The party's organisation is in a shambles in West Bengal and it might find an apt opportunity to befriend the GJM and replace the BJP parliamentarian from the Darjeeling hills.
Mamata questions GJM leaders' frequent meeting with central leaders
GJM delegates have been meeting central leaders more often over this issue and Banerjee, too, has raised questions on this. Is there an understanding developing secretly for political benefit? If it is so, then West Bengal is set to meet disaster in the near future.