The resignation of two senior leaders of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) from the Dooars has put the party, headed by Bimal Gurung, in a tight spot and prompted an emergency meeting in Darjeeling on Thursday.
Padam Lama and Ganesh Aaley, the president and secretary of GJM's Dooars committee, resigned from the party, questioning GJM's commitment in the Dooars.
Lama and Aaley came to the fore after the February 8, 2011 Sipchu police firing in which three GJM supporters were killed. The duo was also prominent in demanding inclusion of 398 mouzas of Terai and Dooars in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
However, the formation of the GTA, with its territories restricted to three hill subdivisions in Darjeeling, and the recommendations of Justice (retd) Shyamal Kumar Sen Committee to include only five mouzas of the Terai and Dooars in the GTA was seen as a setback for supporters in the region.
The differences between the duo and GJM leaders from the Hills grew after the swearing in ceremony on August 4.
They alleged that Hills leaders ended contact with their Dooars counterparts after the GTA was formed.
The leaders also questioned the sincerity of the GJM in launching a fresh movement for the inclusion of more mouzas of Dooars.
Prasant Thulung, assistant secretary of the Dooars committee, and Shyam Thapa, publicity secretary, also resigned along with their supporters.
The resignations have come at a time when the state government verification team is looking into the GJM's grievances over the Shyamal Sen Committee's recommendations.
However, other GJM leaders including Asok Lama, the central committee member from the Dooars said, "The resignations won't affect the party's support base. They have faith in the leadership of Bimal Gurung."