Gurung demands DGHC dissolution
Statesman News Service SILIGURI, May 25:
The Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) president, Mr Bimal Gurung, has demanded an immediate dissolution of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), which came to existence in 1988, facilitating limited autonomy to the hill areas of Darjeeling district. Addressing a Press conference at the DGHC resort ‘Pintail Village’ in Siliguri this afternoon, Mr Gurung also said that the GJMM would soon launch a severe movement to realise the demand. “DGHC is an ‘hindrance in the way of achieving a separate Gorkhaland state and hence, it needs to be dissolved at once. Our central committee would be meeting in a day or two to discuss a resolution on that and also to chalk out a detailed agitation on the issue,” the GJMM president said. Mr Gurung’s statement comes three days after the chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told a GJMM delegation at Writers’ on 22 May that a separate Gorkhaland state was simply not possible and proposed giving further autonomy to the DGHC instead. Peeved at the rejection of the statehood demand, Mr Gurung, who was earlier all praises for the chief minister, today took a dig at him as well. “The CM only looks mild and handsome, but he is very ugly at heart,” he said, adding that in future the GJMM would not sit for any dialogue with Mr Bhattacharjee. Clarifying more, the GJMM president said, henceforth, his party would like to discuss the Gorkhaland issue directly with the Centre and demanded that the UPA government intervene in the matter immediately. Meanwhile, the demand for dissolution of the DGHC is bound to evoke a major impact in the Darjeeling Hills.Including the casual staffs, the DGHC employs about 9,000 individuals across the hills and dissolving the Council would hit their livelihood directly. The GJMM general secretary, Mr Roshan Giri, has however said that the party would take the DGHC employees into confidence before going ahead with the agitation on the demand for dissolution of the DGHC.
Down with DGHC: Morcha – Council: a stumbling block to statehood (The Telegraph)
Siliguri, May 25: The Gorkha Jammukti Morcha as part of its “final battle” wants the DGHC to be dissolved. Party president Bimal Gurung today threatened to give a call in the hills to disregard the council, as it has become a stumbling block to attaining a separate state.
The decision, if ratified by the Morcha central committee, would lead to the boycott of all DGHC activities, Gurung added.
The threat follows the chief minister’s response to the Morcha demand for Gorkhaland. A four-member Morcha delegation had met Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee last week and presented him with a map of the proposed areas — Darjeeling, Siliguri, the Dooars and the Terai — of the new state. The chief minister rejected the statehood demand and instead asked the Morcha to sit for talks so that DGHC could be strengthened through amendments.
Home secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti, who was present at the meeting, had said the chief minister had also asked the Morcha to steer clear of organisations like the Kamtapur Progressive Party and the Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party. Both want Cooch Behar district to be declared a state and are supporting the Morcha in its Gorkhaland demand.
The chief minister’s rejection of the statehood demand had not gone down well with the Morcha, which also wanted the Centre to be a part of the talks.
Today, Gurung said, the Morcha was not willing to hold further dialogues with Bhattacharjee. “Since the chief minister has ignored our demand, we will now sit for discussions only with the central government,” Gurung said. However, he said, the talks should be tripartite and representatives of the state government would have to be present.
“We are going to hold our central committee meeting in the next three-four days in Darjeeling. After passing a resolution, we will ask all workers on contract at the council to resign from their jobs,” Gurung said at a hurriedly called news conference at Pintail Village, 5km from here, this afternoon.
The Morcha chief alleged that the chief minister had not given much importance to the party’s demand for Gorkhaland. “He told the delegation members that there would be problems if the demand was met,” Gurung said.
To the Morcha, Bhattacharjee’s statement had triggered the call for the “final battle”.
“It is now the final battle, a battle for existence. The hill council has for the past 21 years been our main hurdle to achieving Gorkhaland. We are determined to achieve statehood and the state government will have to face the consequences of ignoring the demand,” Gurung said.
Gurung demands DGHC dissolution