After denial of a Rajya Sabha nomination to GJM,the Trinamool Congress government’s decision to carve out 45 constituencies from the existing 28 through a delimitation process in the three Darjeeling hill subdivisions for the Gorkha Territorial Administration election has added fuel to fire.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership has begun intensifying protests in the hills. GJM leader Bimal Gurung is said to be upset on two counts – no Rajya Sabha nomination by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and delimitation of the existing territory of Darjeeling without the knowledge of the GJM.
Gurung is said to have told aides that he felt “cheated by the friendly government”,said a senior GJM leader.
The GJM has begun taking out large rallies in the hills,going back to the old demand for a Gorkhaland state. Moreover,protest rallies have begun in Delhi,too,with a newly formed forum – Gorkhaland Task Force – including all non-GJM political parties of the hills and other organizations.
“People of the hills are disgusted and they feel cheated by the government. Every Sunday they hit the street and mobilise people to hold rallies demanding Gorkhaland. Initially,the GJM leadership had convinced the people that with GTA being formed,development will take place in Darjeeling and we will get our rights. We thought we would get new areas of Terai and Dooars within GTA. But the state government,without consulting us,has gone in for delimitation,” said Harka Bahadur Chhetri,GJM MLA and central committee leader.
“In the GTA agreement,it was clearly written that the work of the high-power committee on inclusion of the mouzas of Terai and Dooars will continue simultaneously with the process of election. It has never been mentioned that election can be held before the area is determined. But in reality,the government has issued a notification of the election while the high-power committee is yet to submit its report on the territory,” Chhetri added.
“Moreover,the government ordered the delimitation without informing us. And we are ignorant about the new constituencies.”
On Monday,the Gorkhaland Task Force – including Bhartiya Gorkha Parisangh,CPRM,All India Gorkha League and other hill parties – staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding Gorkhaland on Monday. On Tuesday,members of CPRM gathered at Jantar Mantar to protest against GTA and demand Gorkhaland.
Joel Rai,spokesperson for the Gorkhaland Task Force,said: “We were always against GTA. The people of Darjeeling were misled and now the people will understand how they were cheated. We want Gorkhaland as it is not just for the people of Darjeeling. It will give security to all the Gorkhas across the country. We have also met political parties and the governments of north eastern states and we are making our movement stronger.”