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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

GJM chief asks Opposition parties to join Gorkhaland movement

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, August 06, 2013
First Published: 12:57 IST(6/8/2013) | Last Updated: 13:02 IST(6/8/2013)

GJM chief Bimal Gurung said that a separate state can only be achieved only if people make the supreme sacrifice and called upon opposition parties to join the movement for Gorkhaland.

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Conceding that the path leading to statehood is difficult, Gurung said, “The aspiration of Indian Gorkhas would not be fulfilled merely by singing and dancing. For this we need to sacrifice our lives.

“Ironically Gurung in his early days had once said that a separate state can be achieved by singing and dancing.

Addressing more than 10,000 people gathered at Kalimpong’s Damber Chowk to pay their last respect to Mangal Singh Rajput, the first Gorkhaland activist to commit self-immolation, Gurung said,

“Statehood cannot be achieved merely by singing, dancing and clapping. The time has come for everyone to come to the field and make sacrifice.”

Gurung, who resigned from the post of chief executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) after the Centre decided to create a separate state of Telangana from And hraPradesh, also called opposition parties in the hills to come forward and join the movement.

Unlike in the past when the GJM had heaped ridicule on local opposition parties for being paper tigers, Gurung said,

“The time has come for opposition parties to come out of their comfort zone and join the Gorkhaland movement. Come out with your parties’ respective flags and join the movement.We are ready to sacrifice our lives and the Centre and the state government should also understand that even people belonging to minority communities are ready to sacrifice for Gorkhaland.”

He assured people mourning the death of Mangal Singh Rajput that the GJM would not accept anything less than Gorkhaland.

“Rajput’s sacrifice has strengthened our commitment for Gorkhaland. This is our final battle.”

Rajput, the father of two sons belonging to Bihari community had died of burn injuries after he attempted self-immolation at Kalimpong’s Damber Chowk on July 31. He was admitted in a Siliguri nursing home and died on Saturday.

He was buried on Monday as per Christian ritual.

Mahindra P Lama, former vice-chancellor of Sikkim Univer sity has given a call to all political parties of the Hills, Terai and Dooars to meet the prime minister in Delhi with the demand for a separate state.

He has also invited all the present and former Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly, West Bengal from this region to join in the delegation.

The political parties would be represented by their presidents and secretaries. Depending on the response to this appeal, an effort would be made to seek the audience with the prime minister between August 20 to 30.


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