Telangana Bill revives Gorkhaland demand

Bimal GurungBimal Gurung

The movement for a separate Gorkhaland, which had been put on backburner in the Darjeeling hills following crackdown by the West Bengal government, is set to shift to Delhi where the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will be holding talks with the BJP and simultaneously launch an agitation.

GJM president Bimal Gurung will reach Delhi on December 9 and hold talks with senior BJP leaders while other Morcha leaders will reach a day later to garner support for the Gorkhaland.

The move, sources in the GJM said, is aimed at blunting the growing criticism from the people of the hills in the wake of Union cabinet approving a bill for creation of Telangana. The Bill is likely to be tabled in the Parliament during the ongoing winter session in the coming week.

"A GJM delegation led by morcha chief Bimal Gurung will go to Delhi. We will sit on a three-day long dharna —- from December 13 to December 15 —- at Jantar Mantar demanding a separate Gorkhaland," said GJM general secretary Roshan Giri.

Meanwhile, Gurung has started conducting extensive political meetings in the hills as well as in the Terai and Dooar regions to convince the people that the GJM will continue to fight for the creation of Gorkhaland. Political analysts said, there are apprehensions that the people of the hills might start a violent agitation when the Telangana Bill is placed in the Parliament.

There is a growing dissent among the GJM cadres against the top leadership as the state government is yet to review or withdraw cases cases slapped against Morcha leaders and the GTA members during the indefinite agitation in August and September in the hills. The government had assured during talks with the GJM that the cases will be reviewed. Instead, sources said, more cases have been slapped against the arrested persons. Also 10 GTA members are still behind the bars.

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