The Jan Andolan Party — founded and headed by former Gorkha Janmukti Morcha spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri — on Friday threw its weight behind the GJM and staged a public protest, asking the BJP government at the Centre to fulfil its election promise of creating a separate Gorkhaland. Chhetri, who had left the GJM a year before the 2016 Assembly elections citing differences with its chief Bimal Gurung and floated the JAP, also wrote a letter to BJP president Amit Shah on Friday. “The BJP has been ambiguous about its stand and needs to come out and make it clear,” Chhetri wrote.
The JAP chief also said that S S Ahluwalia, BJP MP from Darjeeling, had no moral right to continue if the government could not deliver on its promise of a separate Gorkhaland. Chhetri said due to certain issues with the GJM, the JAP has kept away from the mainstream protests for Gorkhaland. “JAP was founded with the single objective of realising the formation of a separate Gorkhaland…People have started asking us about why we have not been more visible… We are letting them know that JAP has not disappeared,”’ Chhetri told The Indian Express.
Chhetri wrote to Shah, “In both election (Lok Sabha) manifestos of 2009 and 2014, the BJP assured our people that it would appropriately consider and sympathetically examine their long-pending problems. These long-pending problems can only be solved by the creation of a separate state… The time has come for the BJP to make good on those promises.” The JAP chief said the BJP MP from Darjeeling had no moral right to continue if the government can’t deliver on its promise of a separate Gorkhaland.
“The BJP has been ambiguous about its stand and needs to come out and make it clear. The Lok Sabha election that they have won has been on the promise of Gorkhaland. And if they can’t deliver it then S S Ahluwalia has no moral right to continue as Darjeeling MP,” Chhetri said. He said the JAP will fully back GJM if its MLAs resign, the outfit withdraws from the GTA and puts pressure on Ahluwalia. “Only if our demands are met will we join the GJM protests. Otherwise we will continue to fight for Gorkhaland separately,” he said.