Bimal Gurung. File picture
Darjeeling, Jan. 7: Bimal Gurung is tomorrow scheduled to leave for Delhi where he is expected to discuss Telangana, on which the Centre set a one-month deadline in December.
Although the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leadership is tightlipped about the visit, sources said the delegation led by party president Bimal Gurung will have Roshan Giri, Binay Tamang and Jyoti Kumar Rai.
“The delegation will leave for Delhi tomorrow and return on January 12. During their stay in Delhi, the team is scheduled to meet the Union home and finance ministers,” a Morcha source said.
He said the hill party had sought an appointment with the central ministers earlier.
Although the exact schedule was not divulged, the source said the Morcha leaders would also try to meet the Prime Minister.
According to the source, the party was looking at getting a feel of the Centre’s intention on Telangana.
“If the Centre is preparing to grant statehood (to Telangana) then we cannot afford to remain silent spectators. The Morcha is monitoring the developments in Delhi.”
The Centre had set itself a one-month deadline to decide on statehood for Telangana, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had said on December 28. Gurung has earlier sent Roshan Giri to do most of the talking with the Centre regarding the GTA.
But this time, despite his packed schedule, he has decided to go to the capital himself. “Gurung is extremely busy with the preparation of the Krishi Mela, which is scheduled to kick off on January 12. Gurung has attached a lot of importance to the mela since last year and he was personally supervising every aspect of the fair. Despite his hectic schedule, he has decided to go to Delhi,” said a central committee leader of the Morcha.
The fair will be held at Jamuni in Darjeeling, one of Gurung’s favourite spots where he is known to have spent a lot of time recently. Fairs will also be organised at Dalgoan and Relli in Kalimpong subdivision and Jogighat in Kurseong subdivision simultaneously.
Morcha leaders said that the party would be forced to start an agitation if the Centre agrees to create Telangana soon.
In January last year, the Morcha had announced a three phase 27-day general strike in the hills, despite signing a memorandum of agreement to set up the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) after the formation of the Srikrishna Committee was made public.
Although the committee had suggested substantial autonomy for the Telangana region, the Morcha was of the opinion that the process for the creation of a separate state of Telangana had been initiated by the Srikrishna report.
Sources said apart from discussing issues related to the GTA, including raising the special three-year grant of Rs 200 crore per annum to Rs 400 crore, Gurung would also inspect the site where the hill body is setting up a Gorkhaland Bhavan.