Not to be left behind in the separate state demand race, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has threatened to resurrect the Gorkhaland agitation if the Union government initiates the process of creating the separate state of Telangana.
The GJM announced this stand at the raising day celebrations of the party in Darjeeling, West Bengal, on Sunday.
Riding the waves of support for one Prashant Tamang, a participant of a TV reality show in 2007, dissident Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) leader Bimal Gurung had successfully managed to channelize it into an agitation which saw the ousting of Subash Ghising and the GNLF from the Hills.
Gurung had floated the GJM on October 7, 2007. Since then there has been no looking back for Gurung and his men, presently running the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA- an autonomous administrative mechanism for the Darjeeling Hills.)
"The GJM is keeping a close tab on the Telangana developments. The Telangana Rashtriya Samity (TRS) is building up pressure on the Union government. If the Government buckles under the TRS pressure and initiates the formation of Telangana, the GJM will immediately resurrect the agitation for Gorkhaland," warned Roshan Giri, general secretary, GJM.
Giri stated that though the GJM had accepted the GTA, it had in no way compromised the Gorkhaland demand.
"Unlike the GNLF accepting the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council by dropping the Gorkhaland demand, we agreed on the GTA but without dropping the Gorkhaland demand. This is GJM's prime achievement" stated the GJM general secretary.
"The Darjeeling Hills, Terai and Dooars in the plains have to remain united and ready for the renewed Gorkhaland agitation as and when the GJM gives a call. For this we require organizational strengthening also," prescribed Giri.
Delay in the transfer of both departments from the West Bengal State to the GTA along with delay in the release of both State and Central funds has created a difficult situation for the ruling GJM.
"We fail to gauge Mamata Banerjee's future plans and the motive behind leaving the UPA but it has cast a shadow on regional parties like the GJM along with the running of the GTA.
The public are facing problems with the delay in transfer of departments to the GTA. The GTA members hardly have any work without the departments.
We fail to under the mystery behind this delay in transfer of departments" stated Ishamani Pakhrin, President of the GJM, Darjeeling town committee in his address.
There are 57 powers and functions under the GTA. While 28 departments have been transferred to the GTA from the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC,) the remaining will be transferred from the state government.