Darjeeling, Aug 21 IBNS | 2 years ago

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's president Bimal Gurung on Wednesday welcomed West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan's reported announcement that he was ready to mediate to end the logjam in the hills.

"We welcome the Governor of West Bengal's announcement that he was ready to mediate. We hope he takes the appropriate steps as early as possible," Gurung said in a Facebook post.

But constitutionally a Governor of a state can not mediate on his own unless he is approached by the aggrieved party or person, an expert opined.

"I can not mediate but if somebody approaches me he or she is welcome," the Governor recently said while asked about his take on the situation in Darjeeling.

Gurung's latest reaction comes a day after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's statement that she wants to make Darjeeling a dream destination and a peaceful haven so that its future is settled forever.

The GJM supremo, however, said that their only demand is to get the Gorkhaland state.

"If she respects the hill people she should also respect the sentiments of the people of this region as demand of Gorkhaland is an aspiration of the entire Gorkhas and other hill communities," Gurung said.

The GJM, which began its latest statehood agitation since July 29 after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government conceded creation of the Telangana in Andhra Pradesh, has been insisting that it would not negotiate with the West Bengal government since the chief minister ruled out division of the state.

However, Gurung latest announcement welcoming the Governor of West Bengal's reported initiative to mediate seemed working as cooling effect in the ranks of the GJM leadership, who earlier dared the chief minister to go ahead with her 72-hour ultimatum to end strike.

Gurung alleged that the government violated the tripartite agreement (GTA) as it has not withdrawn the political cases against Morcha leaders from 2007-2011.

Gurung is one of the signatories of the agreement, signed two years ago.

He also alleged that the government was repressive as over 600 people have been arrested in 20 days that too in old cases in recently.

Gurung said there was only a political problem, which after conceding the demand for Gorkhaland.

He said the demand for Gorkhaland was more than 100 years old and it will be wrong of the chief minister to think that the aspirations of the hill people will be wiped out by merely arresting Morcha activists.

(Posted on 22-08-2013)