Morcha to meet govt on Gorkhaland

Darjeeling, May 20: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today received an invitation from the Bengal government to attend a meeting in Calcutta on Thursday. Leaders of the hill party have decided to go with a one-point agenda — Gorkhaland.
However, Morcha chief Bimal Gurung will stay away from the meeting, sending a four-member delegation instead.
Binay Tamang, the media and publicity secretary of the Morcha, said: “After receiving the invitation through the district magistrate, we convened a central committee meeting in Darjeeling where it was decided that Roshan Giri (the general secretary of the party) will lead the team to Calcutta.”
“The only point of discussion will be Gorkhaland. Since this is one of the first meetings (on this issue), the party decided that it would be better if our president (Gurung) did not head the delegation,” added Tamang.
Amar Lama, Anmole Prasad and Pradeep Pradhan will be the other members of the delegation, which has been instructed by the party to speak only on Gorkhaland. Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is expected to attend the meeting.
Although the Morcha chief had met Bhattacharjee in Calcutta in February, the discussions had been mainly confined to the removal of GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh from the post of the caretaker administrator of the DGHC and the non-implementation of the Sixth Schedule status in the hills.
Later, the Morcha had sent another delegation headed by Giri, which met the state chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb and discussed administrative issues like regularising contractual workers of the DGHC and ordering a probe into the functioning of the hill council during Ghisingh’s tenure.
Bhattacharjee had recently claimed to be unaware of the Morcha’s demands and had asked the party to submit a memorandum specifying what it wanted. The Morcha had sent a memorandum to the state government soon after the chief minister’s comment, demanding a new state of Gorkhaland comprising the Darjeeling hills, Terai (including Siliguri) and the Dooars.
“At the meeting, we will once again submit a memorandum to the chief minister with the same demand,” said Tamang. (The Telegraph)

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