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Bimal Gurung in Delhi shared why Gorkhaland state necessary

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chief executive Bimal Gurung
Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chief executive Bimal Gurung, who is presently in Delhi, today shared his thoughts on why a Gorkhaland state would be beneficial to all residents of the Darjeeling hills.
He said, “Gorkhaland would be a model region and establish the identity of all those living in it. The proposed state would not be for any particular group of people, but for all Indian citizens.”
The GTA chief, who is also the president of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, expressed gratitude to the BJP for standing by his party’s side.
 “We have forged ties with the BJP since 2007 and will ensure it emerges as the largest party in West Bengal following the 2016 assembly elections,” pledged Gurung, adding the saffron front is the best example of good governance and social harmony.
He further said that although statehood is the ultimate objective, the GJM wants the state government to transfer all concerned departments to the GTA in a smooth and proper manner. According to Gurung, only a Gorkhaland state would be the permanent solution to the hills’ myriad problems.
 “We are not aliens,” he asserted. “But West Bengal often looks at us as though we have come from some other nation. We have been living in Darjeeling since generations. Our forefathers were Indians, hence we too are Indians. How can anyone even remotely consider us as foreigners? Even if a separate state is achieved, we would always remain as citizens of India.”
The GTA chief executive went on to say that if the Mamata Banerjee government does not solve trivial issues such as transferring of departments to the GTA in an amicable manner, it could give rise to unnecessary tensions. The chief minister should not treat the statehood issue as a political matter but see in it the aspiration of the people to govern themselves, remarked Gurung.
He also noted the sensitive geographical location of the Darjeeling hills given the proximity of the four international borders of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and China.
Reverting to the differences between the state government and the GTA, Gurung said it would be beneficial to both sides if the former stopped its undue interference.
He said, “We signed the GTA agreement with the state and central governments for autonomy and we stand by it. But the state government has not yet confirmed the jobs of 6,000 temporary employees in the autonomous region and this matter is just one bone of contention. We are working with a vision, but it is unfortunate that the state government is not cooperating as expected.”
Further, the GJM chief accused the chief minister of creating hurdles and alleged the police and the Trinamool Congress of acting in league to disrupt whatever goodwill has been achieved by his party. He also said central forces have been used without any justification against people residing within the GTA.
When asked whether he would meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kalimpong on September 2, Gurung said a GJM delegation would meet her and try to smooth out the creases. “As I will still be in Delhi seeking an audience with central leaders, I will not be able to attend the Kalimpong meeting”, he said.
Talking about the issue of infiltration, the GJM chief said the Darjeeling hills and the plains of Siliguri are under severe threat of a Bangladeshi influx. Besides creating law and order problems including social tension, the infiltrators are trying to change the very demography of the region. Such illegal immigrants get their voter identity and ration cards within no time at all, alleged Gurung. He urged the state government to take strong action to check such rampant and unchecked infiltration by Bangladeshis if the region is to witness sustained growth, prosperity and peace.(EOIC)

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