Darjeeling (West Bengal) [India], April 13 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said if BJP forms government in West Bengal, it will provide the status of Scheduled Tribe (ST) to 11 castes of the Gorkha community.
Addressing a public meeting in Darjeeling, ahead of the fifth phase of West Bengal assembly polls, Shah said, "11 leftover Gorkha sub-castes want Scheduled Tribe status. The matter has been pending for years. The BJP government wanted to resolve this, but Mamata Ji did not attend any meeting on this issue. Change Mamata Didi and bring a BJP Chief Minister, the party will provide the status of Scheduled Tribe (ST) to 11 castes of the Gorkha community.""Gorkha and Nepali brothers - if somebody tries to scare you, do not be afraid. BJP can fight anyone to protect the honour of Gorkhas and Nepalis. Gorkhas have a very rich history. Whenever the names of patriot communities are taken, the name of Gorkhas is taken first of all proudly...The trio of Congress-Communists-TMC did injustice to Gorkhas across the country, for years," said the Union Home Minister.
Shah further accused successive state governments of having done injustice to the Gorkha community.
"In 1986, Communists set the hills on fire. Over 1200 Gorkhas were killed. Didi did nothing less. Many people were killed and FIRs lodged against thousands. There was the selective withdrawal of FIRs. After the BJP government is formed, all such FIRs against Gorkhas will be withdrawn within a week," stated Shah.
He further alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had stopped the implementation of the Forest Rights Act in West Bengal.
"The Forest Rights Act is implemented everywhere in the country, except Bengal. Didi has stopped its implementation. We will implement the Forest Rights Act 2006 in the Darjeeling Hills and you will enjoy all the rights under the regulation," he said.
Shah wore a traditional Gorkha cap to embrace the culture of North Bengal and while starting his speech, he remembered Tenzing Norgay, who made the first Everest Summit.
Polling in the Darjeeling district will be held in the fifth phase of the West Bengal assembly elections on April 17. (ANI)