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14 Jul 2017

BJP leaderJohn Barla backs Gorkhaland.... Dist BJP disagree .....ABAVP to oppose the move

TT, Jalpaiguri, July 13: A BJP leader based in the Dooars has said he will organise a joint movement of the Gorkhas and tribals residing in the region for Gorkhaland and support the inclusion of some areas of the plains under the proposed state.
John Barla, who joined the BJP last year, said: "In 2007, we had opposed Gorkhaland. But eventually, we found that the state has not done anything for the tribals and Gorkha people in the Dooars. This is why I have decided to support the Gorkhaland demand. I will also organise a joint movement demanding some areas of the Dooars be included under the proposed state. Both the Gorkhas and tribals will join us."
"Even today, tribal people residing in tea estates do not have land rights. They are not provided with adequate facilities under the social welfare schemes. We feel creation of a smaller state can help in dealing with these problems," Barla added.
Men haul sacks of ration in Darjeeling on Thursday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
Such assertion by Barla, based in Nagrakata block of Jalpaiguri, has left the district BJP leaders in discomfort.
Dipen Pramanik, the Jalpaiguri district BJP president, said: "Our party is yet to declare its stand on the issue of separate statehood. It does not matter if any leader makes a remark in his individual capacity."
Barla was a former leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad.
In his earlier days at the Parishad, Barla had expressed support at the demand and was removed from the organisation.
The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad leaders and Sukra Munda, the Trinamul MLA of Nagrakata, however, have made it clear that they would defy any attempt by Barla or his party to launch movement in the Dooars over the issue.
"We will never let Bengal divide any further. Any attempt made to bring down the agitation in the Dooars with an intention to create tension here, will be stopped," Birsa Tirkey, state president of the Parishad, said.

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