The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ghisingh oils Gorkhaland gun

Darjeeling, Aug. 31: Gorkha National Liberation Front chief Subash Ghisingh today warned the state and Union governments not to take him for granted, saying he had not yet given up on Gorkhaland.

Addressing a gathering in the Capitol Hall in Darjeeling, Ghisingh — who had led the bloody, 28-month bloody agitation in the eighties only to settle for the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council — said he had “dropped” the demand for a separate state at that time “in national interest”.

But if “pushed to the wall”, the DGHC chairman said the hills could once again witness a “do or die” agitation.

Ghisingh’s tough words came after the Opposition, with the sole exception of the CPM, got together to observe “Betrayal Day” in the hills on August 22, the date the DGHC accord was signed in 1988.

Opposition parties, including the Congress (hills) and the CPRM, castigated Ghisingh for giving up on Gorkhaland.

“Why should we lower our heads and beg for it. If we get a state, our respect for the Union and state governments will go up,” the GNLF boss said, warning both governments not to indulge in politics. “I only hear wrong things, but we can do wrong things as well.”

Ghisingh defended his decision to sign the DGHC accord with the state government. He said peace returned to Darjeeling after that.

“Look at the strife-torn areas like Palestine, Iraq and Kashmir, where the situation is not conducive for development at all. On the other hand, development work is going on in Darjeeling,” he said.

At the same time, he warned the governments against taking the GNLF for granted.

“If things get bad, we know what we can do, we are not polio-stricken children,” Ghisingh said.

Displaying his party’s political muscle, he said all he needed to do to “set the hills afire” was to make a speech at Chowk Bazar. “I still have the matches to lit the fire.”

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