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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Telangana fans the Gorkhaland fire

Amitava Banerjee, Hindustan Times  Darjeeling, December 31, 2012
First Published: 23:18 IST(31/12/2012) | Last Updated: 23:20 IST(31/12/2012)

The Telangana wind has once more fanned the Gorkhaland fire with Hill opposition parties mounting pressure on both the Government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) While they have demanded that the Government seriously consider Gorkhaland, they have demanded that the GJM immediately relinquish the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and revert back to the separate state demand.

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In an all-party meeting on December 28, Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde assured that the Centre would decide on the Telangana issue within a month. Hill political outfits dubbing it as a positive development towards Telangana, were quick to take the cue.

“The GJM has settled for power through the GTA giving up the Gorkhaland demand. They should realize that Gorkhaland and Gorkhaland alone is the aspiration of the Gorkhas throughout the country. This was proved in the GJM’s national seminar when their own leaders from different states rallied for Gorkhaland” stated Govind Chettri, Spokesperson of the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist.

He also appealed to the State units of the GJM to urge the GJM Central Committee to relinquish the GTA and revert back to the Gorkhaland demand. “Even the Telangana agitators were offered an autonomous body on the lines of the GTA but they did not accept it and preferred to continue with their agitation for a separate state” added Chettri.

Incidentally the GJM was floated on October 7, 2007, with the Gorkhaland demand. After 44 months of agitation and multiple rounds of meetings with the State and Central Government the GJM agreed to the GTA-an autonomous administrative body for the Darjeeling Hills.

“We will immediately write to the State and Central Government to seriously consider the more than 100 year old Gorkhaland demand” stated Luxman Pradhan of the All India Gorkha League.

Reacting the Telangana development and the allegations levelled by the Hill political outfits, Roshan Giri, General Secretary, GJM stated “We have not relinquished the Gorkhaland demand. It is clearly stated in the GTA Memorandum of Agreement that we have not dropped the Gorkhaland demand. If Telangana is created Gorkhaland will have to be created also.”


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