Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters burnt effigies of Ahluwalia in Darjeeling

An effigy of Ahluwalia being burnt in Darjeeling
Widespread protests erupted on Saturday against Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia’s purported comment that many of those demanding a son-of-the-soil candidate for his seat “were born in Nepal”, forcing the Union minister to issue clarifications in English and Nepali.
The clarifications by the BJP leader came within 36 hours of his remarks on Thursday. The clarification in English was issued on Friday night but that failed to drown the protests on the streets and social media. The Nepali statement issued on Saturday afternoon was probably an attempt to reach out to the grassroots.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters burnt effigies of Ahluwalia in Darjeeling while GNLF leaders waved their voter IDs and Aadhaars to protest Ahluwalia’s remarks.
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Most hill parties have been seeking a son-of-the-soil candidate, largely because they believe “an outsider” has failed to stand by the hill people.
“The general feeling is that S.S. Ahluwalia has been a failure as an MP,” said Munish Tamang, working president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh. “We want the Centre to clarify whether Ahluwalia, a minister, is articulating the government’s thoughts on our community,” Munish added.
Ahluwalia has not offered “an unconditional apology or withdrawn” his statement. He has only said: “If my emotions still hurt anyone’s feelings, I sincerely regret the same.”
Identity has been the fulcum of hill politics. At the core is the distinct identity of the Indian Gorkhas, who believe free movement of citizens between India and Nepal leads to the “Nepali perception”. They have sought revision of a 1950 treaty that allows such movement.

https://www.telegraphindia.com
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Widespread protests erupted on Saturday against Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia’s purported comment that many of those demanding a son-of-the-soil candidate for his seat “were born in Nepal”, forcing the Union minister to issue clarifications in English and Nepali.

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