The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Target hit, strike called off
- Morcha-backed shutdown near-total in the hills

Darjeeling, Nov. 22: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has withdrawn its four-day general strike from tomorrow, but the party said it will ensure that all DGHC offices remain closed till December7, the day the winter session of Parliament ends.

Today’s bandh, called to protest against the granting of Sixth Schedule status to the Darjeeling hills, was near-total. The bill on the status is expected to be introduced in Parliament in the winter session.

At Chowk Bazar this evening, Morcha president Bimal Gurung said since the message has reached the right quarters, there was no point in further inconveniencing the common man.

“Through today’s shutdown, the people of the hills have thrown a challenge to the Bengal government.”

Binay Tamang, press and publicity secretary of the party, said a five-member delegation led by Morcha vice-president K.S. Ramudamu today met BJP president Rajnath Singh and leaders Sushma Swaraj and Vijay Kumar Malhotra in Delhi.

“The BJP leaders said the standing committee on parliamentary affairs had not yet received the draft of the bill. Unless it is cleared by the committee, no debate on the bill can take place in the Lok Sabha,” said Tamang.

The Morcha team also met Mohsina Kidwai, the Congress minder for Bengal.

This morning, the GNLF withdrew its plans for victory rallies in town to celebrate the inclusion of the Sixth Schedule bill in the Parliament’s list of business. The party cited no reason for the rethink.

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