Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung and his party leaders met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in New Delhi to press the demand of the separate state of Gorkhaland. They also handed him a booklet titled,Why we want Gorkhaland.
The top-level delegation of the party is camping in Delhi and meeting senior ministers of the UPA government and Congress leaders to push for Gorkhaland.
During the meeting with Home Minister,the GJM delegation also demanded dropping of criminal cases and charges against party cadres during the 44 months of agitation prior to signing of the tripartite agreement. Most of these charges were framed by the government and should be dropped now, they told Shinde.
With a Parliamentary panel recommending that Darjeeling Hills be included under Development of North Eastern Region Ministry for the allocation of 10 per cent fund of the Union Budget meant for the region,GJM leadership said that such a decision will ensure a steady flow of funds for the development of Darjeeling Hills.
The delegation also called for Darjeeling be brought under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and giving the region a tribal area status. This was incidentally an original demand of Subash Ghisingh the Gorkha National Liberation Front chief who was ousted from power by GJM.
Earlier,the GJM delegation met Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and sought funds for the development of Darjeeling . The GJM leaders told the minister that 44 months of agitation had affected rural development initiatives badly in Darjeeling and it needed to be put back on the track. Ramesh reportedly assured the delegation that he would like to visit Darjeeling in the second week of April and urged the leaders to ensure peace.