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Since 1st March, 1999
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ABGL mulls panel aid to fight Morcha

Darjeeling, Sept. 28: The ABGL has threatened to write to the Election Commission to cancel the registration of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which announced yesterday that it would not allow other outfits to hold public meetings in the hills.

“When a party is registered, it has to take an oath saying it would uphold democratic values. We will write to the commission on Tuesday after holding a meeting with my lawyers tomorrow,” said ABGL president Madan Tamang.

The Morcha, which alleged that other parties were confusing the common man on statehood, had made the announcement in Chowk Bazar. “We will not allow public meetings to take place in Kurseong and we make an appeal to residents of other places to do the same,” Pradeep Pradhan, the vice-president of the Morcha central committee, had said.

The Morcha “request” was in retaliation to Tamang’s allegation at a public meeting on Friday that party’s dealings with the Centre were not transparent enough. The ABGL president was supposed to address another meeting in Kurseong today.

The ABGL has also threatened to highlight the state government’s role in the letter to the commission. “The government is encouraging the Morcha to get away with all these so that it can get the Sixth Schedule bill passed soon,” alleged Tamang.

His party has decided to file an appeal under the Right to Information Act for the details of the Rs 30 crore that is allegedly being paid by the DGHC to it contractors on October 3. “We will then find out who has got what from the council,” Tamang said. He said it was time the call details of the cellphone of Morcha leaders were checked to find out who all are working hand in gloves with the government.

The CPRM, too, has come down heavily on the Morcha.

"Is this the Gandhism that is being talked about. It looks more like Godseism (after Nathuram Godse who killed Gandhi)?” said R.B. Rai, the general secretary of the CPRM who had in the past supported the Morcha's non-violent movement.

L.M. Lama, a CPRM leader and convener of the Jansanskriti Manch, said his organisation’s proposed awareness campaign on Gorkhaland in Bijanbari, 30km from here, today was derailed by the Morcha. “The Morcha youth front decided to call a transport bandh, apparently to protest against bad road conditions. The actual aim was to derail our programme,” said Lama.

Binay Tamang, the media and publicity secretary of the Morcha, refused comment.

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