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Rivals heap scorn on pact

Darjeeling, July 19: The opponents of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the hills have reacted with scorn to the agreement to form the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, terming it as nothing more than a development agency like the DGHC.

The CPRM announced that it would launch a movement for Gorkhaland from end-July since only a separate state would meet the aspirations of the Gorkhas.

“Like the GNLF, the Morcha has also settled for a development agency in the form of the GTA. Subash Ghisingh had accepted DGHC, which is nothing but a development agency. Likewise, the Morcha has settled for another development agency,” said CPRM president R.B. Rai.

He, however, noted that unlike Ghisingh who had dropped the Gorkhaland demand while signing the DGHC deal, the Morcha had specifically said while accepting the GTA that it was not dropping the demand for a separate state. “What the Morcha should have also done was to clearly mention in the agreement that in the event of the formation of any other new state in the future, Gorkhaland should also be created,” Rai added.

Bharati Tamang, the president of the ABGL, alleged that the Morcha had settled for the new arrangement at the altar of her husband Madan Tamang, who was assassinated on May 21, 2010. “My husband always used to warn that these people (read the Morcha leadership) will eventually settle for such an arrangement, and not Gorkhaland. That is why they conveniently killed him. The Morcha has accepted the GTA over the dead body of my husband,” she said.

The ABGL president seemed to be hurt by the support the Morcha had got from the people. Asked if her party would start a campaign against the GTA, she retorted: “The people should know. They voted for the Morcha. Now it is for the people to introspect.”

The ABGL, unlike the CPRM, had contested from all the three constituencies in the hills in the Assembly elections, but drew a blank. In fact, all its candidates forfeited their security deposits as the Morcha romped home with huge margins.

Announcing a series of programmes for the separate state, the CPRM said a blood donation camp would be held in Kalimpong on July 27, which is observed in the hills as Saheed Diwas in memory of the 1,200 people who lost their lives during the GNLF-lead agitation in the eighties.

Rai said the blood donation camp would be followed by a dharna to be held in Delhi before or after Independence Day. “Around end-August, we will organise a padayatra to Siliguri from different parts of the hills. And in September, we will organise a seminar on Gorkhaland in Calcutta where we will invite intellectuals from non-Gorkha communities to discuss the issue,” he added.

Celebration plan

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will organise a rally in Darjeeling on Thursday to celebrate the signing of the agreement to set up the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha, said the rally would be taken out from Darjeeling station to Chowrastha. He asked tea garden workers to take a day’s leave and join the march.

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