The Telegraph
Tuesday , September 18 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Morcha rally test in plains

Darjeeling, Sept. 17: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will hold rallies in the Dooars and Terai on September 20 to protest the fuel price hike, but it is the footfall at the rallies that will be watched keenly.

The Morcha has planned to hold the rallies at a time when its own leaders in the plains are disenchanted with the party after the formation of the GTA.

Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, said: “We have decided to organise protest rallies in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik, Terai and Dooars on September 20 to protest the recent fuel price hike. We are not in favour of calling a strike as this will hamper relief work after the recent landslides.”

The Morcha did not disclose the places where the rallies would be held.

Observers believe that given the recent resignation of Padam Lama, the president of the Morcha’s Dooars committee, and its secretary Ganesh Allay, the crowd count at the rallies will show if the Morcha still holds its appeal here.

Lama, while submitting his resignation from the Morcha, had said he was finding it difficult to show his supporters what the party had done for the plains.

“There is no interaction with the central committee leaders from the hills,” Lama had said.

The Morcha’s demand to include 397 plains mouzas in the GTA has not made headway. Without that happening, the Morcha leaders in the hills will not be able to use the central grants they get for the plains.

Asked about the party’s expectations, a Morcha leader here said: “Let us not cross the bridge before we reach there. Even though some leaders have resigned, we still have alot of supporters in the plains.”

The party has not formed a new committee in the Dooars after Lama and Allay’s resignations. An observer said that the Morcha would go all out to make the rally a success.

“They are out on the streets on an issue that has touched the common people and they would go all out to make it a success. However, a lot is at stake for the Morcha.”