After J&K bifurcation, hill parties want Darjeeling to be UT

The Centre's decision to revoke provisions of Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir has rekindled hope among the major hill parties, which want that Darjeeling should also be a separate Union territory with a legislature.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Darjeeling, Raju Bista, said he was hopeful that the saffron party's promise of a "permanent political solution" in the hills would be a reality by 2024.

The ruling Trinamool Congress, however, said it would oppose any move to bifurcate West Bengal.

The Centre had on Monday revoked Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and proposed bifurcation of the state into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

The Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) faction, which supports the BJP, said the saffron party should keep its poll promise of a permanent political solution in the hills, which have witnessed violent agitation for the past few decades over the demand of a separate statehood.