Jan Andolan Party members on hunger strike to put pressure on GJM for Gorkhaland

On Wednesday six JAP youth members started indefinite hunger strike in Kalimpong.

kolkata Updated: May 25, 2017 11:28 IST
Pramod Giri
Pramod Giri
Hindustan Times
GJM,Bimal Gurung,Trinamool
A protest rally in the hills. Over the past few decades the central issue of politics has been the demand for Gorkhaland.(HT aland Photo)

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) that recently won the seventh election it fought in Darjeeling hills riding piggyback on the demand for Gorkhaland has come under pressure from Jan Andolan Party (JAP) to prove its sincerity towards the demand for a separate state for the Gorkhas.

On Wednesday, the youth wing of JAP started indefinite hunger strike in Kalimpong asking for clarifications from the GJM on the moves it has taken to achieve a separate sate.

Read: Bengal civic polls: TMC wins four civic bodies, GJM-BJP alliance bags three

Led by former GJM MLA, Harka Bhadur Chettri, JAP unsuccessfully contested the recently held municipal elections in Darjeeling hills. Of the four municipalities, GJM retained Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong while Trinamool Congress managed to win in Mirik. JAP managed to win only two of the 23 wards in Kalimpong, its home turf, while in other municipalities it drew a blank.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung will increasingly come under pressure from the hill parties to demonstrate his sincerity about Gorkhaland. (HT Photo)

However, JAP has announced that it is not focussed on an election or two and strive for the realisation of the dream of Gorkhaland. GJM has always been in the news for its demand for creation of Gorkhaland, while opposition parties maintain that it has always used the sentimental and emotional issue only to cling to power.

The Bimal Gurung-led party also turned the May 14 municipal election as a Gorkhaland versus Bengal fight and managed to win three municipalities in what was easily the toughest election it faced since its formation in 2007.

JAP now wants the GJM leaders to be answerable to people and issue a white paper on what moves it has taken so far to achieve Gorkhaland. Six members of youth wing of JAP on Wednesday started indefinite hunger strike at Kalimpong’s Trikon Park asking the GJM to make the status of Gorkhaland demand public.

Read: Losing ground to Trinamool, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha raises Gorkhaland issue before Modi, NDA partners

“GJM has so far won seven elections -- two parliamentary, two assembly, two municipal and one Gorkhaland Territorial Administration -- using Gorkhaland their poll plank. “Now GJM leaders have to answer the people about the position of ‘Gorkhaland,” said Amir Basnet, the secretary of JAP youth wing.

Trinamool supporters celebrating their performance in the civic polls in the hills. The growing popularity of Mamata Banerjee’s party may put more pressure on GJM leaders to cling to the issue of Gorkhaland. (HT Photo)

The JAP demands GJM to sever all its ties with Bengal and put pressure on Lok Sabha MP from Darjeeling S S Ahluwalia to raise the issue of Gorkhaland in Parliament. “The JAP youths will withdraw their hunger strike only after GJM gives a satisfactory reply,” said Basnet.

JAP also demands a clarification from the GJM about the assurances given by the NDA government on Gorkhaland. It also wants to know about the number of leaders of national parties the GJM leaders met and discussed the issue of a separate state.

The GJM is an alliance partner of the BJP which won the 2009 and 2014 parliamentary elections from Darjeeling with the morcha’s support.

First Published: May 25, 2017 11:28 IST