The Union government has dropped the ball back in the state government’s court for the “Gorkhaland” demand and asked the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership to follow it up with Bengal if they were to make any inroads. GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, who is presently in Delhi to attend the three-day program at Jantar Mantar demanding a separate Gorkha state said over phone, “I met Sushil Kumar Shinde today and discussed about the statehood demand with him. He has asked us to take the state government into confidence for taking the demand forward”. Though, other GJM leaders returned back to Darjeeling after the three-day program from December 13 to 15, Giri however stayed back to meet both UPA and NDA leaders, to pursue the statehood demand.
The GJM general secretary also apprised the union home minister the demand for including all the Gorkha communities except the schedule caste under the tribal category, putting the reserved forest under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), providing employment to Gorkha youths in para-military force and placing the Darjeeling Hills in the North East Council (NEC) among many. “The Union home minister has asked us to submit a representation so that the demands including that of a separate state could be followed up,” Giri said. All these demand were discussed in the November 20 and 21 bipartite and tripartite meetings in Kolkata.
Giri also met BJP president Rajnath Singh and put the demand for a Gorkha state before him. “The BJP president gave us a positive hearing. He has assured us that the Gorkha state demand would be discussed in the BJP’s parliamentary board committee meeting,” said the GJM general secretary from Delhi.
The GJM leader said Singh will be visiting the Darjeeling Hills in March next year before the general election. “The BJP president has said he will come to Darjeeling next year and meet us. He has also assured to get us an appointment with Narendra Modi, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate,” said Giri.