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Morcha all-India meet, eye on LS polls

Darjeeling, Nov. 12: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will hold an all-India conference here for its supporters from across the country on December 16, which, sources said, could be a plan to build up support before the Lok Sabha polls.

The decision was taken at the Morcha’s central committee meeting held at Singamari here today.

Roshan Giri, general secretary of the Morcha, said: “The party has decided to organise an all-India conference in Darjeeling on December 16 to discuss the problems faced by the Gorkhas.”

Even though Giri did not elaborate on the reason behind the conference, sources said Bimal Gurung’s party has a national agenda in organising the meeting.

“The Morcha probably wants to be recognised as a party looking after the interests of the Gorkha community not just in this region but also across the country. Some sections of the Gorkha community had criticised the Morcha for accepting the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and the Morcha probably wants to smoothen ruffled feathers and stamp itself as a party which is concerned with the Indian Gorkhas,” said an observer.

There are a considerable number of Gorkhas living in Dehradun, Bhashu in Uttarkhand, Assam and other north-eastern states.

Many believe that consolidating its position among the Gorkhas living in other states would also help the Morcha in parliamentary elections, which is only a year away.

The Morcha has also decided to hold a series of meetings after Diwali. “The other decision that was taken in the meeting was to hold a series of public meetings in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik, Siliguri and the Dooars. The dates have not been finalised but it will be held after Diwali,” Giri said.

The decision to hold these meetings has probably been prompted by the Gorkha National Liberation Front’s attempt to revive itself in the hills. Yesterday, GNLF supporters had hoisted party flags atop their houses in Mirik.