Former Indian football captain and 2014 Trinamool Congress candidate from Darjeeling, Bhaichung Bhutia, believes that a separate Gorkhaland state is necessary to “permanently” resolve the Hills problem “in an appropriate manner”. He did not agree with Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s views on Gorkhaland.
According to TOI report, Bhutia said that he was stating his personal view but was unequivocal in saying that the Hills people had been “struggling for more than three decades” for a separate state.
“The Bengal government should act like a big brother and take care of its small brother and take steps to permanently settle this perennial demand in an appropriate manner,” he said.
The Darjeeling Hills had never been a part of West Bengal and, should Gorkhaland happen, people of Bengal should not feel that their state was being divided, he added.
The football icon, who hails from Sikkim, feels that the two MPs from Sikkim should raise the matter in the Parliament and engage MPs in a debate on the Gorkhaland movement, he said.
Pro-Gorkhaland parties needed to get the support of the Bengali intellectual community as well as Trinamool leaders, Bhutia felt, adding that there were some Trinamool leaders and bureaucrats who agreed with the Gorkhaland demand but found it difficult to come out.