Kolkata: Notwithstanding BJP national president J P Nadda’s advice to party leaders to refrain from commenting on the division of West Bengal, its Kurseong MLA Bishnu Prasad Sharma Friday reiterated his demand for separation of Darjeeling hills from the state. Facing flak from the ruling TMC over repeated demands of the division of West Bengal by a section of BJP legislators, Nadda had Thursday urged party leaders to refrain from speaking on the issue.
“The place from where I come has been deprived since Independence. Hence, I want its separation from Bengal. Yesterday also, I had said the same thing, and I would continue to say it,” Sharma said.
The BJP state leadership hastily distanced itself from Sharma’s comments, asserting that the party is not in favour of West Bengal’s division.
“We don’t want division of the state, but we feel there is need for development of the North Bengal region,” BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.
Sharma had on Thursday stoked the demand for bifurcation of West Bengal.
Last year, too, he had written to Nadda over the issue, asking the party leadership to honour its promise of a permanent political solution to the Gorkhaland statehood demand.
BJP’s Alipurduar MP John Barla and legislators of Matigara-Naxalbari and Dabgram-Phulbari seats have also demanded that a union territory be carved out of the North Bengal district.
The Trinamool Congress, however, has accused the BJP of trying to fan separatism in the state.
“Our chief minister has clearly said there will be no division of West Bengal. We will never allow partition of the state,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said.