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Don’t carp, says Gurung

Darjeeling, Feb. 6: Bimal Gurung has asked Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders to refrain from speaking about the state government’s alleged failure to fulfil the provisions of the GTA agreement, saying the public is not “Writers’” and “they should not be allowed to feel depressed”.

At Jamuni yesterday, the Morcha president said: “Why are you talking about non-transfer of departments (from the state government to the GTA Sabha) and non-fulfilment of the provisions of the (GTA) memorandum of agreement? Are the public Writers’ (government)? Such talks must stop now. They should not be allowed to feel depressed.”

Gurung’s comment came immediately after Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri highlighted the alleged non-fulfilment of the provisions of the memorandum of agreement in his speech.

“Proper transfer of departments has not yet taken place. As per the agreement, Gorkha youths have to be absorbed into the paramilitary forces, a three-tier panchayat system must be implemented in the hills and state and the Centre must take steps to grant Schedule Tribe status to all Gorkha communities, except those belonging to the Schedule Caste,” said Giri.

Without taking Giri’s name, Gurung said: “Is that agreement fake? If there are certain provisions mentioned in the agreement, they have to be fulfilled. Instead of talking about it in public, the GTA must correspond with the state government. We will have to direct three (Morcha) MLAs to take up the matter with the government and even if these exercises do not work out, then there is always the option of going to the high court and the Supreme Court.”

Sources in the hills said Gurung had realised that constantly complaining against the state government was reflecting poorly on the GTA, which is under the Morcha’s control.

“He clearly wants his leaders to stop talking negative about the GTA as he seems to have realised that fulfilment of various agreements would need time. He does not want his own leaders to paint a bad picture of the GTA,” said a source.

He said Gurung had also resigned to waiting for the transfer of more powers to the GTA. “Even when Subash Ghisingh enjoyed a good rapport with the Left Front government, he was constantly seen bargaining for more powers to the DGHC. Gurung also seems to have understood that this will have to be an ongoing exercise,” the source said.

The Morcha chief also said the GTA would soon take a decision to grant winter allowance to more than 6,000 non-regularised workers in the hill body.