KOLKATA, Jan 4 (IANS): Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh Saturday demanded that Darjeeling be accorded the status of a union territory.
Jaswant Singh, the MP from Darjeeling, said the residents of the district are "in no way Bengalis" and the authorities in Delhi and Kolkata must take cognisance of the fact.
"It is very important for the authorities in Delhi and Kolkata to recognise that the inhabitants of Darjeeling are in no fashion and in no way Bengalis and you can't keep them permanently tied to Bengal....," he said post the relaunch of the book "Smash and Grab: Annexation of Sikkim" by Sunanda K. Datta-Ray.
"The answer lies in a union territory. Don't aspire to form a state out of just one district."
He said though an alternative solution is to merge Sikkim and Darjeeling, the primary step should be creation of a union territory out of Darjeeling.
"There is one other possibility but Sikkim won't have it....if Darjeeling and Sikkim could be merged but that's a long-term...you have to take the first step and the first step is the union territory."
He lamented that it was "politically dishonest to splinter Andhra Pradesh...look at the trouble it has caused."