Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister and National People’s Party president Conrad K Sangma has written to Union home minister Amit Shah saying that “the Gorkhas too are rightful India citizens who deserve to have their own identity and Bas Bhoomi (homeland)”.
The letter which was made public on Tuesday by NPP, an NDA constituent, was dated on September 4. It comes at a time the NPP is looking at expanding its support base in north Bengal after having opened its unit.
“Sir, you are aware of the long pending constitutional demand of the Gorkhas for a separate state of Gorkhaland,” is how Sangma has flagged the statehood issue in the letter.
He further said, “Sir, as stated, the Gorkhas have contributed immensely to the fabric of Indian society and as with other citizens of India, the Gorkhas too are rightful Indian citizens who deserve to have their own identity and Bas Bhoomi”.
Highlighting the contributions of Gorkha freedom fighter Durga Malla, member of constituent assembly Damber Singh and Ari Bahadur Gurung and Captain Ram Singh Thakuria, Sangma, Sangma described as “a prominent Gorkha freedom fighter and musician who composed the music of the inspiring National Anthem”.
The chief minister also requested the centre to “offer an honourable and lasting political solution” to the Gorkhas.
The letter was made public when the monsoon session of Parliament was in progress and there were growing demands by NDA allies in Darjeeling for finding a “permanent political solution”.
The Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (Pratap Khati camp) on Tuesday wrote to Sangma thanking him for his letter.
Sangma is the second chief minister to lend support to the Gorkhaland demand. When Pawan Chamling was the Sikkim chief minister, he got a resolution adopted in the Assembly on March 29, 2011, terming Gorkhaland as a “genuine and legitimate” demand of the people of the hills.