Harka's party to skip meet on Monday

The Jana Andolan Party on Sunday decided against attending the third round of bipartite meeting between the state government and political parties of the hills at Nabanna on Monday.

By RAJEEV RAVIDAS in Kalimpong
  • Published 16.10.17
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Kalimpong: The Jana Andolan Party on Sunday decided against attending the third round of bipartite meeting between the state government and political parties of the hills at Nabanna on Monday.

JAP president Harka Bahadur Chhetri told reporters here that the decision to run the GTA went against the wishes of his party, which in both the previous rounds of bipartite meetings had called for the repeal of both the GTA and its predecessor DGHC.

"At both the bipartite meetings, we had categorically stated that a tripartite meeting among the state government, the Centre and the hill parties should be called to discuss the separate state. Furthermore, we had also sought the repeal of the DGHC and GTA because they are failed experiments, but these were never discussed," he said.

Instead, Chhetri alleged, the state government chose to revive the GTA by talking to only one faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha outside the bipartite process.

"The state government has gone ahead and formed the board of administrators to run the GTA. This was never discussed at the all-party meetings. We protest this and that is why we will not attend tomorrow's meeting," he said.

Absence of the JAP from the meeting, a Morcha source said, is unlikely to have much impact as the party has presence only in Kalimpong.

Chhetri also equated the bipartite meetings initiated by the government to the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) formed at the initiative of the Morcha to collectively lead the movement for Gorkhaland.

"This has also become like the GMCC meetings where one party decides and the rest will have to quietly follow," he said.

Besides the Tamang faction of Morcha, GNLF will also attend tomorrow's meeting. Another hill party CPRM has not attended any of the earlier two meetings. Though the Bharti Tamang faction of ABGL had attended the first two meetings, no one from the party is likely to be at Nabanna tomorrow because Bhyarti has been suspended for three months for attending the two meetings.

The JAP president said by holding a meeting with the BInay Tamang faction of the Morcha three days before the bipartite meeting, it had become obvious that the agenda had already been set.

"We believe that decisions to be taken at tomorrow's meeting have already been taken. This has rendered the meeting meaningless," he said.