Chamling denies allegations of sitting on Gorkhaland resolution

The Statesman

GANGTOK, 14 JUNE: Sikkim government today refuted allegations that it has been sitting on the resolution favouring carving out a separate Gorkhaland state out of Bengal that was passed in the state Assembly in March 2011 at the behest of the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front. Besieged by charges that it is apathetic to the cause, the Pawan Chamling government made it clear that it has already forwarded the said resolution to the Union home secretary Mr G K Pillai through the chief secretary N D Chingapa, vide D.O. No.273/CS/SKM/2011/562 dated 19 May 2011.

‘In fact, the State Legislative Assembly in its Assembly Session held between 23 and 29 March 2011, had passed the Resolution No. 3 of 2011 regarding Formation of Gorkhaland State ~ ultimate and permanent solution to ensure peace, security and development of Sikkim and the region, free movement on National Highway-31 A ~ lifeline of Sikkim for the well being of the land locked sensitive border State,” an official statement said.

According to the state government, the documents related to the resolution having been forwarded to the Centre are available with the state home department.

Pro-Gorkhaland forces in Darjeeling and the Opposition parties in Sikkim had put the Chamling government on the mat after an RTI reply from the Union home ministry maintained its ignorance of any such resolution. A Siliguri resident, Mr Bishnu Prasad Sharma had filed the RTI application in April this year.

“The stand of the Government of Sikkim in favour of Gorkhaland has always been the same and such baseless and unfounded allegations were probably made with the intention to cause rift between the peace loving people of Sikkim and Darjeeling,” the release said.

On the RTI’s reported revelations, the state government said it would have been more appropriate if the applicant had approached the government of Sikkim on this matter whereupon the state government would have provided him/her required information of having sent the resolution to the Government of India.

The release further said the state government would enquire with the Ministry of Home, Government of India as to how they have stated that the resolution has not been sent by the state government.

The RTI revelations came days after the Sikkim  government expressed two varying stances on the Gorkhaland tangle. Earlier, the state minister Mr D B Thapa said in Delhi that the creation of separate states might renew unrest in neighbouring Sikkim. Mr Chamling, while in Siliguri, was quick to

reiterate his support to the Gorkhaland statehood demand. He further said his party favours creation of at least 50 smaller states for better administration.

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