A delegation of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM),led by its president Bimal Gurung,Tuesday met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh in New Delhi and pressed hard for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
The delegation told Shinde that the demand for Gorkhaland was raised 109 years ago and is older than the Telengana statehood demand. They handed over a booklet titled Why we want Gorkhaland to Shinde and other political leaders in Delhi.
A spokesman for the GJM later said that the delegation placed several demands before Shinde, the most important being an assurance from his ministry regarding dropping of criminal cases against GJM cadres during the 44 months of agitation prior to the signing of the tri-partite agreement. Most of these charges were framed by the government, they told Shinde.
They also wanted inclusion of Gorkha Territorial Administration in the purview of the North Eastern Development Council that at present includes the seven northeastern states and Sikkim. This will ensure a steady flow of funds for development of Darjeeling,the GJM said. The delegation was in favour of Darjeeling being brought under 6th Schedule of the Constitution and giving it a tribal area status.