GRC meets Governor seeking support for fact-finding commission to establish status of Darjeeling

Gangtok, 02 Dec:

Gorkha Rastriya Congress called on Governor Ganga Prasad here at Raj Bhawan today and petitioned him to help create a cordial atmosphere to initiate the setting up a “fact-finding commission” by the Government of India to “clarify” the political and Constitutional status of the Darjeeling Hills as was assured by the Ministry of Home Affairs during GRC’s earlier meetings with Ministry officials.

Addressing a press briefing after meeting the Governor, Subodh Pakhrin, the GRC chief convenor, informed that their 6-member delegation appraised the Governor about the need for such a commission to establish the status of the Darjeeling Hills.

GRC is convinced that Darjeeling was absorbed into West Bengal purely for administrative purposes in 1949 and that it was never Constitutionally made an integral part of West Bengal.

GRC, it may be recalled, believes that Darjeeling belongs to Sikkim and that it should be reverted to Sikkim from its present status as a part of West Bengal.

The GRC team further informed that they have also appraised the Governor of West Bengal [on 23 November during his visit to Darjeeling] about their stand and the need for a fact-finding commission to establish the status of Darjeeling.

This meeting with the Sikkim Governor today was to create a cordial environment so that their aspiration for a “Greater Sikkim” could be achieved.

Mr Pakhrin said that the Governor appeared convinced with the points GRC raised and expressed confidence that a proper channel will be established for the setting up of a fact finding commission under the Government of India.

When asked whether he was confident that their demand for Darjeeling’s return to Sikkim stood a chance, he said that it was the moral obligation of the Government of India to first set up a Fact Finding Commission, establish the facts and then revert Darjeeling back to Sikkim.