The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today raised a fresh demand for a separate Gorkhaland and the inclusion of areas in the plains under the Gorkha Territorial Administration, the hill council in Darjeeling.
"We will not sell our self-respect and will continue with our demand for Gorkhaland and the inclusion of the plains mouzas in the GTA," GJM president Bimal Gurung told a meeting of Yuva Morcha members at Kumani on the border of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling district.
Stating that GJM would highlight the two issues in the campaign for the ensuing panchayat polls in the plains, Gurung said "I will immediately go to the Dooars and start a door-to-door campaign. If needed, I will stay for a month."
He referred to the West Bengal government's formation of a fact-verification committee after the Justice Shyamal Sen committee recommended inclusion of only five mouzas in the plains in the Dooars and Terai in the GTA, when the GJM had demanded inclusion of 396.
A mouza is an area less than a subdivision.
"The Bengal government constituted a three-member fact verification committee when our relations with the Trinamool were good," Gurung said.
"I do not know what has happened to the committee, but it is clear that chief minister Mamata Banerjee is now hell bent on going after me," Gurung alleged.
Taking a dig at 200 GJM workers and leaders joining the TMC over the past few weeks, Gurung said "Have they joined Trinamool hoping the cases registered against them during the agitation will be withdrawn?"
Morcha leader and an executive member of the GTA Sabha Samuel Gurung, said "It is important to win the panchayat elections both for the Gorkhaland demand and also for the inclusion of mouzas in the GTA."