Politics

As Darjeeling Hill Parties Meet in Delhi, Gurung Says Only GJM Can Call Off Bandh

GJM chief Bimal Gurung denied allegations that they had a “tacit understanding” with the Maoists. Credit: PTI

Darjeeling: All eyes are on a meeting of all the parties of the Darjeeling hills, to be held in New Delhi today over Gorkhaland, while GJM supremo Bimal Gurung yesterday said only his party could withdraw the indefinite shutdown in the hills, which is going on for 47 days.

The 30-member Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), a body of all the hill parties including the GJM, formed earlier this month, is in Delhi for the meeting. It had held all of its earlier meetings in the hills.

However, Gurung made it clear that the GMCC would not have any say as regards withdrawing the strike in the hills, apparently hinting at a crack in it.

“The GMCC has no role to play as far as withdrawing the bandh is concerned. The GJM had called it and only the GJM can withdraw it,” he told a press conference here.

Condemning the police action on the GJM workers, Gurung hit out at the West Bengal government.

“All our programmes are being carried out peacefully and in a democratic way but unfortunately, the state government is trying to portray the movement as an undemocratic one and using brutal force to curb it,” he said.

He also denied the allegations that the GJM had a “tacit understanding” with the Maoists.

Gurung welcomed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Majeed Memon’s concern about the situation in the Darjeeling hills.

Memon raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha and urged the government to invite the agitators for talks to restore normalcy in the affected region.

Meanwhile, the GMCC has decided to meet Union home minister Rajnath Singh with a copy of the resolution, which is slated to be adopted at its meeting tomorrow.

“We have decided to meet the home minister with a copy of the resolution. The Centre needs to take concrete action,” Munish Tamang, national working president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, told PTI.

The GJM has given a ten-day “deadline” to the Centre to intervene in the logjam arising out of its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland or else, it has threatened to intensify the movement in the Darjeeling hills.

“We have given a ten-day deadline to the Union government. An indefinite shutdown is going on for 47 days, the Centre can’t just sit idle when the hills are burning,” GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang told reporters on Sunday.

(PTI)