The Telegraph
Friday , February 21 , 2014
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Morcha to knock on Delhi door
- Team to speak to Centre, hill rallies on Sunday

Kurseong, Feb. 20: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leadership today said it had “no fight” with the Bengal government and would take the statehood demand to the Centre, taking cue from the creation of Telangana.

The decision to speak to central ministers and parties in Delhi was taken at a Morcha central committee meeting today, held to decide the Darjeeling hill party’s plan in the light of the passage of the Telangana bill in Parliament.

In the evening, when the Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri made the announcement, the bill had not been passed in the Rajya Sabha.

The hill party said it would continue to run the GTA Sabha. Late at night, the party rescheduled its four rallies in the hills from Friday to Sunday.

Tomorrow, a dharna would be held in Delhi.

Giri said: “The meeting was held to discuss the party’s role in the Telangana context. It is clear that the Centre can create a state without the state’s consent as the Andhra Pradesh Assembly had not cleared the statehood bill. It is up to the Centre to create states and the state has no role. We will, therefore, go to Delhi with our demand. We have no fight with the state.”

A source in the hills said: “The party has perhaps realised that it cannot afford to take on the state government now. After Gurung’s resignation from the post of chief executive of the GTA, other political parties started raising their pitch in the hills.”

That the Morcha leadership would take such a stand on statehood was apparent from party chief Bimal Gurung’s Facebook post on February 18, the day the Lok Sabha passed the Telangana bill.

Gurung wrote: “Today’s passage of the Telangana bill makes it clear that state consent is not necessary for its bifurcation, a fact which we have been reiterating for a long time. Those opposing creation of smaller states have wrongly argued that such consent from state assembly is required before rearranging its boundary.”

Giri today said: “We will send the delegation as early as possible (to Delhi). We will meet all political parties, including the Congress, BJP, and even other regional parties like the BSP and the SP to seek support for our demand.”

Asked about the functioning of the GTA, Giri said: “The GTA will be running.”

The day the Congress had taken the decision on Telangana on July 30 last year, party president, Bimal Gurung had immediately resigned from the post of chief executive to spearhead the statehood agitation.

After the state government took strong administrative steps to curb the agitation and following a patch-up between the hill party and Mamata Banerjee, Gurung resumed office on December 26, 2013.

Gurung has decided to concentrate on development work.

After laying the foundation stone of a bridge, electrification project and tourist resort at Rimbick constituency yesterday, Gurung today laid the foundation stone of a multi-speciality hospital in Kurseong.

Sources said tomorrow Gurung will be going to Takdah-Teesta Valley area to lay the foundation stone of a drinking water project.