Gorkha Janmukti Morcha plans public meetings in plains

Morcha chief Bimal Gurung
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has decided to organise public meetings in the plains, days after announcing that the Union home minister had assured party leaders to form a committee to examine the demand for Gorkhaland.

Morcha chief Bimal Gurung said at a news conference: “We have decided to organise two meetings in the Dooars (which falls mostly in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar district) and one meeting for the Terai region in Siliguri. The dates haven’t yet been finalised.”

Morcha insiders said the meetings were being planned in the plains in order to galvanise supporters after a “favourable response to our demand from the Centre”.

“The meetings will help the Morcha regroup in the plains. The objective of holding a meeting in Siliguri is to ensure that our supporters stay together as elections to the Siliguri Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad are due,” said a Morcha leader who didn’t want to be named.

The Centre has so far not said anything to second the Morcha’s claim.

Gurung today held a meeting with the party’s central committee and subdivisional committees, elected GTA Sabha members, representatives of 19 frontal organisations and chairmen of four hill municipalities.

The meeting was held to brief them on the visit by Gurung and other leaders to Delhi recently, which the party has termed “positive”.

“The meeting with the home minister has been positive. We will continue to pursue the issue of forming a committee to examine our demand, after the winter session ends,” Gurung said today.

The news conference was held after the party meeting.

On December 7, the Morcha will organise a public meeting in Darjeeling.

The Morcha’s claim about the Centre’s assurance on the setting up a committee to look into the Gorkhaland demand has irked Trinamul.

Yesterday, Trinamul leader and minister Gautam Deb said: “Ahead of the Parliament elections, the BJP had put an addendum in its election manifesto and had mentioned that it would sympathetically look into the demand of Gorkhaland. Now the Morcha leaders are claiming that the Union home minister has told them that a committee will be formed to look into the demand. We are curious to know whether this is the second step after the addendum. The BJP and the MP of Darjeeling should clearly assert their stand on Gorkhaland.”

Besides, Trinamul leaders had hinted that the party would use the Centre’s assurance on the Gorkhaland committee to corner the BJP in the plains and cement its support base.

The BJP had polled more votes than Trinamul in several wards of SMC in the Lok Sabha elections.

Gurung today said: “I will be going to Calcutta to perform a puja at Kalighat on November 29. I will again go to Varanasi for a puja between December 9 and 16. We will be performing a puja in Darjeeling for three days from December 26. The puja is being done for our party.”

The hill leader said he would invite the representatives of 10 hill communities, which are demanding tribal status, to Delhi between December 16 and 26.

“We will together meet central ministers to pursue this demand,” said Gurung. The ten hill communities are Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami and Yakhha (Dewan).

Source: The Telegraph

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