GJM to renew Gorkhaland stir

In a turnaround within 24 hours after adopting a wait-and-watch strategy, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has decided to launch a fresh agitation demanding a separate Gorkhaland state out of West Bengal.

Enthused by the formation of Telangana, the hill party will take its agitation to Delhi, skipping the state government.

The GJM, which cancelled its pro-Gorkhaland rallies scheduled for Friday, announced that the movement will be Delhi-centric. Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders, however, refused to comment.

“Our leader, Mamata Banerjee, has made it clear she is not in favour of bifurcating any state and that is our declared policy in this matter,” a TMC leader said.

Though the fresh stir will be based in Delhi, GJM leaders will organise rallies across Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik on Sunday. The decision was taken at a central committee meeting of the GJM on Thursday.

A senior GJM leader said the party will hold rallies and public meetings where all central committee members will also be present.

The decision to change the movement’s tenor was taken by GJM president Bimal Gurung, who told reporters at Darjeeling earlier this week that the party would wait for sometime before launching a fresh movement.

Leader tight-lipped

While GJM leaders were tight-lipped over the sudden change in strategy, sources said the party was compelled to change track after other Gorkha outfits questioned GJM’s sincerity to the Gorkhaland cause.

“He decided to change the stand after other Gorkha parties hauled him up for siding with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee because she returned the office of Gorkha Territorial Administration’s chief executive to him after he quit a few months ago,” a GJM leader said.
Gurung told reporters after Thursday’s meeting that the Telangana Bill was passed without the nod of the state Assembly.

“The Centre earlier set a precedent for the state Assembly to pass a Bill in the House before a formal realignment of its territorial limits, but it has defied the rule over the creation of Telangana,” he said.

“The GJM will now take the Gorkhaland movement to Delhi. Our fight is not against the state, as it has no role in the creation of new states,” he added.

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