West Bengal CM Buddhadeb rejects Gorkhaland demand

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Sunday reasserted that the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha's demand for a separate Gorkhaland unacceptable and ruled out bringing the Dooars and the Terai under any new administrative arrangement for the Darjeeling hills. His remarks came at a time when the GJM leadership has intensified attempts to take its agitation from the Darjeeling hills to the Dooars and the Terai in the north Bengal plains. At an event held at Phansidewa near Siliguri, Mr. Bhattacharjee said: “The time has come for the [political] leaders in Darjeeling to realise that clamouring for Gorkhaland will yield nothing. It is not acceptable — either to the State or the Centre. It is not realistic; it is not possible.”
He was also critical of the GJM's plans to take the agitation to the north Bengal plains, which the authorities fear could inflame ethnic passions, given the large presence of tribals in the Dooars. “They [the GJM] are trying at times to take it [their movement] from the hills to the Dooars, the Terai and even Siliguri…They will never get this region,” the Chief Minister said, cautioning against attempts to stir up trouble in these areas. Urging the GJM leadership to give up its statehood demand and stop its agitation, Mr. Bhattacharjee asked: “Who is gaining from this? The hotels [in the hills] are closed. After a few days, there could emerge a situation in which the people of Darjeeling will not get anything to eat.” Unless the agitation was withdrawn, he said, there could be no dialogue to end the impasse in the region.