GJM calls for widespread agitation against BJP for not including Gorkha communities in ST

GJM calls for widespread agitation against BJP for not including Gorkha communities in ST
Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has lined up a series of agitation programmes against "betrayal" by the BJP and in demand of the tabling of a Bill to include 11 Gorkha sub-communities in the Schedule Tribe list during the ongoing winter session of Parliament. Recently, BJP MP from Darjeeling constituency SS Ahluwalia, along with leaders of the Bimal Gurung faction of GJM, had declared that the long-standing demand of the Gorkha community would soon be fulfilled with the tabling of a Bill in the Parliament to include 11 Gorkha sub communities in the ST list.

However, the official business list of the winter session of Parliament does not mention a Bill to include the 11 Gorkha sub-communities in the ST list. GJM, dubbing this as betrayal of the Gorkhas by the BJP, has threatened a series of agitation in the Hills, including a fast unto death programme. Binay Tamang, president of GJM, rushed a letter to Narendra Singh Tomar, minister of Parliamentary Affairs, demanding that a Bill be tabled in Parliament to include the 11 Gorkha sub-communities in the ST list immediately.

"The business list includes 63 Bills to be tabled in the Parliament this winter session. The BJP-led Union government has to live up to their assurance and rectify the list, thereby including the Bill to include the 11 Gorkha sub-communities in the ST list," demanded Tamang. "However, the agitation will in no way hamper the peace and tranquility of the area or disturb the law and order," assured the GJM president. Widespread postering was done throughout the Hills by GJM supporters on Wednesday. "If all this yields no result, the GJM leaders will sit on a fast unto death with the demand. If the situation demands, I will also take part in the fast unto death," added Tamang. The posters demand that the Kalimpong MLA (a close confidant of Bimal Gurung who, along with Ahluwalia, had assured that the Bill would be tabled) resign on moral grounds. Other posters demand that the BJP and Gurung immediately halt the drama. The 11 sub-communities include Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakkha and Dhimal. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh, have already sent their approval for inclusion of these communities in the ST list. A committee headed by Smt Vishnu Maini from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, had visited Sikkim and Darjeeling Hills in 2016, but till now nothing concrete has evolved in this direction.

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The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has lined up a series of agitation programmes against "betrayal" by the BJP and in demand of the tabling of a Bill to include 11 Gorkha sub-communities in the Schedule Tribe list during the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

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