Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia has literally racked up a storm in a tea cup, after his “born in Nepal” jibe on those clamouring for a “bhoomiputra” candidate from Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, has resulted in protests from various quarters in the hills.
A Sikkim-based English daily Himalayan Mirror had reported that SS. Ahluwalia “labelled those demanding a son-of-the-soil candidate for Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat were born in Nepal” in a press meet on Friday.
As a picture of the Himalayan Mirror report made its way around the social media, outrage started to pour in.
The GTA Board of Administrator’s Chairman Binay Tamang was the first to react to this, and he informed the press that Ahluwalia should apologize to the people here, else he will sue Ahluwalia.
Reacting to it GNLF issued a statement saying, both GJM 1 and GJM 2 should apologize along with Ahluwalia.
JAP chief Harka Bahadur Chettri said, “If Ahluwalia is a ‘bhoomiputra’ from Asansol let him contest from there, but we are the ‘bhoomiputra’ from the hills, only the sons of the hills are bhoomiputra.” He added, “we have to create such an atmosphere that such people who label us as outsiders do not even dare to climb up to the hills.”
Adding on to the protest, GJM (BT) faction burned Ahluwalia’s effigy in Darjeeling town on Saturday. This is the second time they have burned effigies in the past one month.
Following the protest, Ahluwalia issued clarifying statement in Nepali.
In his statement, among other things he has said,
“My questions and statement was only directed at two individuals. One – whose father served in the British Army using Nepali citizenship, and another who till recently worked in Dubai using passport from Nepal. Should these people speaking of “bhoomiputra”?
Everyone in the Darjeeling District is aware of these two people. Everyone knows who these two people are.
“मेरो प्रश्न अनि मेरो बयान वास्तवमा दुई विशेष ब्यक्तिहरूको निम्ती मात्र थियो। एकजना जसको पिता नेपाली नागरिकताको भरमा ब्रिटिश सेनामा जागिर खाएर आए अनि दोस्रो जसले गत केहि वर्ष अघिसम्म मात्र नेपाली नागरिकताको आधारमा दुबईमा जागिर खाएर आएको हो । के उनीहरूले “भुमिपुत्र” को कुरा गर्नु सुहाउँछ?
यी दुई व्यक्तिहरूको बारेमा दार्जिलिङ जिल्लाका सबै मानिसलाई पनि थाहा छ। यिनीहरू को हुन् भन्ने कुरो जनतालाई राम्ररी जान्दछन्।“Taken from SS Ahluwalia Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SSAhluwaliaForDarjeeling/videos/262814691276005
However, he has ended his clarification with, “But what I have said has hurt many of my Gorkha brothers and sisters. I am sorry and I extend my sincerest apologies.”