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GJM announced nine-day dharna at Jantar Mantar Delhi for Gorkhaland

GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has announced a nine-day dharna at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar beginning March 9 in a bid to draw the attention of the Centre to the demand for a Gorkhaland state. The directive to party leaders reportedly came on Thursday from GJM chief Bimal Gurung, currently in Guwahati to offer prayers at the famed Kamakhya temple. He is likely to return to Darjeeling on Sunday.

While making the announcement on Thursday afternoon, GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang said, “We have decided to organise dharnas in Delhi from March 9 to remind the nation of our century old justified demand for a

Gorkha state. Our party president has sent such a directive from Guwahati.”

The Morcha had originally planned to hold demonstrations in the national capital in December of last year but postponed them by a month following a request from Union home minister Rajnath Singh. However, it did not hold any dharnas or rallies last month either perhaps with a certain plan in mind, which Tamang revealed today. He said, “The budget session is in progress in Parliament and we want to make the most of this opportunity. We hope to meet with ministers and leaders who are sympathetic to our demand and can take steps to help us realise our long-cherished dream.”

Budget Session 2015-16 began in the two Houses of Parliament on February 23 and will continue till May 8. There will be a recess between March 21 and April 19 during which the various parliamentary standing committees will examine the demands for grants tabled by central ministries. There will be 33 sittings in total.

Speaking about the dharna, the GJM assistant secretary said 105 party members will participate in the programme. “The chairmen of the Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik municipalities along with their deputies and ward councillors will be among the participants. Twenty-one Gorkha Janmukti Vidhyarthi Morcha members will also join the event. A core committee team will be formed to lead, monitor and supervise the nine-day dharna,” Tamang said.

The GJM will sit for another meeting once Gurung returns to Darjeeling to finalise the roadmap of the Delhi programme. “On March 2 we have invited the municipality chairmen, vice-chairmen and ward councillors and our youth front for a meeting. We will plan out the nine-day programme then,” said Tamang.

Following a meeting in Darjeeling with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last year, the GJM had announced all activities related to the statehood issue would be concentrated in Delhi henceforth in order to keep the hills free from any disturbance. (EOIC)

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