Siliguri, 31 July
With the Gorkhaland trajectory moving with a frantic pace against the backdrop of the Telangana statehood demand being conceded by the ruling UPA and the Congress, the anti-GJMM political parties in the Darjeeling Hills like CPRM and AIGL are gearing up to chalk out strategies. They said that they are ready to lend moral support to Mr Bimal Gurung and his party, now on a collision course with the state government, only if the principal party decides to disentangle itself from the GTA once and for all.
The CPRM veteran, Mr R B Rai, who created history by splitting the CPI-M in the Hills on the question of Gorkhaland way back in 1998 said his party had joined hands with the GJMM in the past on the emotive issue when the latter was in its formative stage.
“We distanced ourselves from them in the aftermath of Madan Tamang’s assassination. We protested against the GJMM gagging dissent and its strategy of hobnobbing with the Mamata Banejree regime to enjoy loaves and fishes of office putting on the backburner the paramount issue that catapulted them into political preponderance in the Hills,” he said.
He further said they would side with the GJMM at this critical juncture if it decides to drop the GTA and move headlong for Gorkhaland. “Besides, they must shed sectarianism and try to bring all the pro-Gorkhaland parties on board. We have been saying since the day the autonomous body was set into motion that it would fail to address the needs of the Hill people,” he said.
Calling both the GJMM and the chief minister as mercurial and impulsive, Mr Rai said the rupture was inevitable.
“However, everything hinges on whether the GJMM would show spunk to drop the GTA once and for all,” he added.
Commenting on the fast-changing Hill scenario, the All India Gorkha League (AIGL) vice president, Mr Laxman Pradhan, said the people are far from being convinced of the GJMM’s sincerity for the cause of Gorkhaland.
“True, Mr Gurung has quit his post as the chief executive. But he has not given up the GTA. He is still a member of the body,” he said.
“We would extend moral support to them if it drops the GTA and gets headlong into the statehood movement sincerely and democratically,” he said, adding that the Centre would delay matters regarding the formation of Telangana to douse the flames of demands for statehoods in other parts of the country, including that for Gorkhaland.”
Siliguri, 31 July