Darjeeling, Sept. 6: After a self-imposed hiatus of more than two years, the Gorkha National Liberation Front today organised a rally in Darjeeling and urged people to be ready if the movement for a separate Gorkhaland state is renewed.
The meeting, organised by the Darjeeling branch committee of the party, comes days after GNLF president Subash Ghisingh told a gathering in Darjeeling that he had only “dropped” the demand for Gorkhaland and not “withdrawn” it.
The move comes after Opposition parties criticised Ghisingh for dropping the demand for Gorkhaland in the “national interest” while signing the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) accord in 1988.
The GNLF Darjeeling committee took the Opposition to task and maintained that Ghisingh had the sole authority to demand Gorkhaland as he was the leader to understand the aspirations of the people of the hills.
“During the Gorkhaland agitation (in 1986), the black law of Bengal was unleashed in the hills and during that period, the CPM and the current CPRM leaders had helped in unleashing terror,” said K.B. Gurung, a senior GNLF leader. He added that these leaders had been a hurdle to the movement.
The GNLF clarified that the decision to accept DGHC was due to compulsions and added that the decision was taken not only by Ghisingh but after consulting all other leaders.
“Even then, Subash Ghisingh insisted on adding the word Gorkha, which has given us an identity in the country,” said GNLF Darjeeling committee president Deepak Gurung.
Bimal Gurung, president of the GNLF Tukvar Valley constituency, warned that “the Sikkim chief minister should stop dabbling with the politics of Darjeeling”. Pawan Kumar Chamling has been accused of blessing the Opposition in the hills.
The GNLF also accused state urban minister Asok Bhattacharya of engineering the moves of the Opposition parties in the hills.