T-bill shot in arm for Gorkhaland demand

GJM holds rally in Delhi to revive agitation, put pressure on Centre.

Kolkata | Updated: February 22, 2014 12:47:59 am
gorkha-med Gorkha Janmukti Morcha activists stage a dharna for a separate Gorkhaland state. (PTI)

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Friday revived its agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state by holding a rally in New Delhi, a day after the Rajya Sabha cleared the bill to create Telangana as the 29th state of the Union.

“We want the Centre to intervene and resolve the issue as the state government does not have the power to do it (create a separate state). Telangana Bill has given hope to us,” said Roshan Giri, general secretary of GJM.

Sources said the GJM central committee held an “urgent meeting” late Thursday, soon after the Telangana Bill was cleared by the Rajya Sabha, and decided to build pressure on the Centre.

GJM supremo Bimal Gurung too had said on Facebook that the “Telangana development has now reversed the precedent of seeking the state government’s nod in rearranging a state’s boundary”.

Gurung would be addressing a public meeting and rally in Darjeeling on Sunday. According to sources, the party would hold another rally on March 2 at Sukna in Darjeeling where the leaders are likely to announce their future course of action.

The ruling Trinamool Congress in Bengal is opposed to formation of Gorkhaland and had come down with an iron fist to quell the agitation in the Hills last year.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who has ruled out any reorganisation of the state, meanwhile, flayed the passing of Telangana bill.

“The ‘so-called’ passing of the Telengana Bill in the Lok Sabha has been unconstitutional, undemocratic, unethical and illegal,” she said in a Facebook post.

She said when division was sought by the Opposition and amendments were proposed, they were not allowed. “More so, such an important bill was taken up behind closed doors, even blacking out the usual live proceedings of the House on TV, demolishing the very spirit of democracy on that day,” Mamata  said, adding her party protested how such an illegally passed bill in the Lok Sabha can come up to the Rajya Sabha.

She also attacked the “Congress-BJP syndicate” for clearing the bill to serve their respective political agendas. “I am astonished to see how the syndicate of Congress and BJP worked in tandem to fulfil their own political agendas. What will be the future of the country if the two political parties connive in this way to manipulate important legislations affecting states without taking the states into confidence?” she asked.

She said the two parties are “taking decisions unilaterally” when election is knocking at the door. “Is it fair, ethical, constitutional? This unholy nexus is indeed an alarming signal for the country,” she added.

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