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After Minister of State (MoS) John Barla‘s repeated demand for separate statehood in last few months, BJP state President Dilip Ghosh claimed in Jalpaiguri on Saturday, sharing the dais with the MoS, that the demand for separate statehood for North Bengal is not illegal.

“People of North Bengal have been deprived of proper infrastructure, jobs and even education for the last 75 years. People of North Bengal have chosen John Barla as their elected representative for which in keeping with the people’s demand, John Barla has asked for the separate statehood of North Bengal, which is not illegal,” Dilip Ghosh, BJP State President said.

Ghosh has participated in a “Shohid Samman Yatra” in North Bengal today, which has been organized to pay tribute to the people of victims of post-poll violence.

BJP Yuva Morcha President Saumitra Khan has also raised the same demand in the past. However, BJP leadership has never supported such demands in the past.

When asked on the statehood demand in the past, on June 1, Dilip Ghosh had said, “Syama Prasad Mukherjee’s Bengal and BJP does not do divisive politics. We do not support such separate statehood demands.” However, today he clearly mentioned that such demands are not illegal.

Meanwhile, Trinamool state general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that the BJP should have mentioned the statehood demand in their manifesto before the polls. “Did they mention in their manifesto that they will do divisive politics in the state? he questioned.

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