Delhi team fishes for sympathisers-Morcha keeps eye on developments at the Centre, hunts for statehood allies

Darjeeling, June 26: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s delegation in Delhi is trying to find sympathisers for the Gorkhaland demand with an eye on the possibility of a change of power at the Centre.
Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri, who had been heading the four-member delegation, said: “We met (BJP chief) Rajnath Singh, yesterday and (Opposition leader) L.K. Advani the day before. The leaders are sympathetic to our demand and have asked us to go back to them with relevant documents justifying our demands. The outcome has been positive.”
Giri had to return to Darjeeling today for personal reasons, but the three other members of the delegation — Pradeep Pradhan, Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Phubi Rai — are expected to stay on for a couple of more days to try and meet a few other politicians. “The delegation will definitely try and meet (UPA chairperson) Sonia Gandhi in the coming days,” said Giri.
Sources maintain that the Morcha is aware of the fact that the UPA and the Left Front are unlikely to support the statehood demand, especially at a time when the nuclear imbroglio is yet to subside. The hill party is keenly following the developments in Delhi and is pinning its hopes on an early parliamentary election, the sources said.
“This government is surviving because of the Left support and our demands will definitely be met with hostility (by the government). However, the silver lining is the fact that the Centre is not averse to calling a tripartite meeting as of now,” said a Morcha leader.
There is a strong feeling among the Morcha leaders that the party would be on an advantage if it aligns with the BJP rather then the Congress. “The important leaders of the Congress are against division of Bengal. This cannot be said of the BJP, who are in favour of smaller states,” said another Morcha leader. He referred to the three new states — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand — that were created during BJP rule at the Centre.
If the Morcha aligns with the BJP, it will be a break from the past as the hills have traditionally voted for the Congress. The Subash Ghisingh-led GNLF had even helped the CPM win the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat twice in the nineties by staying away from the parliamentary elections.(The Telegraph)

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