Pro-BJP faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has decided not to participate in a meeting convened by the Centre to discuss affairs in the hills.
In a notification on July 27, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had called a review meeting regarding the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) on August 7, scheduled to be held in Delhi under the chairmanship of Union Home Secretary. Issues related to the GTA will be reviewed in the meeting. The MHA notice was addressed to Home Secretary of West Bengal, Darjeeling District Magistrate, GTA Principal Secretary, GTA Chairman and representatives of GJM.
Pro-BJP Bimal Gurung faction of GJM refused to participate in the meeting since the agenda is not of “permanent solution” to the problems faced in the Darjeeling hills.
“We have nothing to do with the meeting. We will attend a meeting where permanent political solution is discussed along with incorporation of11 Gorkha communities in on ST list,” said pro-BJP GJM leader Roshan Giri.
The GTA is an autonomous district council for the Darjeeling and Kalimpong areas of West Bengal. It was formed in 2012 to replace the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, which was formed in 1988 and administered the Darjeeling hills for 23 years. The GJM has been demanding Darjeeling to be declared as a separate state and had launched a violent protest in the hills in 2018. Later, the GJM was divided into two factions. While one faction was led by Bimal Gurung supported the BJP, the other headed by Binay Tamang sided with the TMC.
“We came out of GTA to find a permanent solution for the people of Darjeeling — the long-standing demand for a separate statehood. Now this meeting has been called to discuss the affairs in GTA. Why should we attend this meeting if it is not held to discuss a permanent solution?” said Giri.
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