GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Gurung hints at talks date – so, lets wait for official announcements and outcomes in detail, less speculation and more bare facts ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Nov. 3: The next round of political-level talks is likely to be held either at the end of this month or in the first week of December where the last hurdles to the formation of an interim authority for Darjeeling are expected to be removed.
Returning from Delhi after “positive talks” with the Centre, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung told reporters at Bagdogra airport: “We told Union home minister P. Chidambaram that the next round of tripartite talks at the political-level should take place by the end of November or the first of week of December. We have got a positive response from Delhi.”
Gurung, along with party general secretary Roshan Giri and central committee member Jyoti Kumar Rai, had gone to Delhi to attend “urgent talks” with Chidambaram on the formation of the interim authority. The Morcha delegation also met junior home minister Ajay Maken who usually chairs the talks at the political-level.
Sources said the Centre had urged the Morcha to be more flexible in its demands so that the interim authority could be formed before the elections to the state Assembly were announced. The Morcha, the sources said, had assured the Centre that it would do so.
This found reflection in what Gurung said today.
“We found both the governments — the central as well as the state — want the issue of setting up of an interim arrangement to be sorted out as early as possible,” Gurung said.
“We, too, want that it should be formed ahead of the state Assembly election, which is scheduled to be held next year.”
Asked whether the issue of inclusion of the Terai and the Dooars in the interim authority, which has been one of the main demands of the Morcha, had been discussed in the Delhi meeting, the hill leaders refused comment.
GJM: set up regional authority for Darjeeling Hills before polls – further delays could lead to dire consequences for the plains ?!!
FROM THE HINDU SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
KOLKATA, November 4, 2010: The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leadership on Wednesday demanded that the regional authority proposed for the Darjeeling Hills be set up before the Assembly polls in West Bengal due by June 11 next year.
“We want the regional authority to be set up before and not after the elections,” GJM president Bimal Gurung asserted at the Bagdogra airport.
Mr. Gurung and two of his associates in the party had held talks with Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on Monday on the future of the proposed regional authority.
There are certain contentious issues regarding the proposed body that still await sorting out. “We want it to be finalised at the next round of tripartite talks to be held at the political level,” Mr. Gurung told journalists on his arrival from the capital.
Differences persist between the GJM and the West Bengal government on the territorial jurisdiction of the body and its composition — whether it will comprise nominated members which the GJM is demanding or elected members.
The GJM leadership maintains that Gorkha-dominated pockets in the Terai and Dooars regions of north Bengal should be brought within the regional authority’s purview. (less headache for Bengal’s development drive ?!!)
The State government has been of the view that the body’s jurisdiction be confined to the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. (Just like the unworkable DGHC ?!!)
Mr. Chidambaram, who was apprised of the GJM’s views on the outstanding issues, has reportedly assured Mr. Gurung and his colleagues that efforts will be made to find a solution at the earliest, according to Mr. Gurung.
Under pressure from supporters, the GJM leadership is keen that the regional authority should be set up soon.
Hill house attacked for Ghisingh visit – Parties to counter Morcha ‘bullying’ – anything goes to defame the Morcha leadership working towards a ‘State within a State’ concept till Bengal consensus can digest and accept its final inevitable outcome ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI AND RAJEEV RAVIDAS
Nov. 3: The Darjeeling hill opposition today decided to launch a movement after Diwali against the “bullying tactics” of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, whose supporters attacked the house of a GNLF member in a Kalimpong village on Monday night.
Morcha leaders said the attack had been “provoked” by the villager’s “temerity” to visit the Jalpaiguri house of party chief Subash Ghisingh.
The attack on the house of Muna Mani Pradhan, a former GNLF panchayat member, took place in Kumai along the border with Bhutan, a day after he had called on Ghisingh in Jalpaiguri. According to an FIR lodged with Jaldhaka police outpost yesterday, the incident took place at 11.15 on Monday night when Pradhan was away and women and children in his family were sleeping indoors.
“A group of men went to my house and smashed the windows after breaking the bulb in the veranda. My wife, widowed sister-in-law and two children were at home,” Pradhan told The Telegraph over the phone from Kumai.
Pradhan said he had deliberately stayed away from home after he had got wind that he could be targeted. “Those who attacked my house knew that I was not at home. I never imagined that they would target my house knowing there were only women and children. What saddens me is that at a time others are decorating their homes for Diwali, my house is in a shambles,” said Pradhan.
The Morcha supporters targeted Pradhan after he had been spotted in a picture published in a local daily showing the GNLF sympathisers gathered in front of Ghisingh’s house.
Local Morcha leaders today warned that other GNLF supporters would also face the same fate if they made the “mistake” of meeting Ghisingh.
“If they repeat the mistake, they will face social boycott and may also be uprooted from the village,” said Madan Lepcha, the secretary of the Morcha’s Kumai unit.
Hill opposition leaders said one of the reasons for the Morcha’s “belligerence” was the fact that the GNLF had started forming village committees in the hills in recent weeks and resumed political activities after a gap of almost three years.
As the news of the attack trickled in, the hill opposition said they would protest against the Morcha’s “strong-arm tactics” to curb the political rights of the people.
“We have decided to press for the political rights of the people and we will demand immediate elections to panchayat and municipalities,” said Dawa Sherpa, the working president of the ABGL.
The hill opposition, which mainly comprises the ABGL, CPRM, GNLF (C), Sikkim-Darjeeling Akaikaran Manch and the TMC (Hills), said they would also step up its movement against the new interim authority for the hills.
“We have decided to hold a massive rally in Darjeeling this month,” said Sherpa. (responsible politics, pouring oil on troubled waters at any cost ?!!)