Gorkhaland issue generates heat in Lok Sabha

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BJP member Jaswant Singh's strong plea for a political solution to the Gorkhaland issue generated heat in Lok Sabha on Wednesday with Trinamool Congress members charging the former Union minister with attempting to divide West Bengal. 

Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House till 2 pm as Trinamool Congress members created uproar with one of them, Kalyan Banerjee, threatening to storm the well chanting "shame, shame, Jaswant Singh" and accusing him of trying to divide the state. 

This was objected to by some BJP members. 

Singh has been elected to Lok Sabha from Darjeeling, a part of the hilly region of West Bengal where a major section of locals are seeking a separate state of Gorkhaland. 

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Singh said the Centre should help arrive at an amicable settlement of Gorkhaland issue by ensuring talks among all concerned as part of the Tripartite Agreement between the Centre, the state government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). 

An urgent resolution of the issue is necessary as the area is witnessing a bandh for the past 11 days, he said, adding the Centre should call the GJM leaders and state government representatives for talks soon. 

"Let peace be ensured, no threat issued and a political dialogue started," Singh said. 

As he was about to end his remarks, Trinamool members, including Banerjee, Sudip Bandopadhyaya and Sougata Ray, were on their feet shouting "Bengal will not be divided" and "we will not allow you to do it." 

Banerjee then walked towards the Well shouting at the senior BJP leader, but was called back by Bandopadhyaya. 

The issue of Gorkhaland has suddenly hotted up in the wake of the decision on Telangana. 

File Photo by Bimal Gurung

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