After Mamata camaraderie, GJM back with Gorkhaland demand

Darjeeling, Oct 27 : The display of camaraderie between the West Bengal government and separatist Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) was cut short Sunday after the Gorkha outfit once again raised the Gorkhaland demand.

The GJM, after a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday, said the "issue of Gorkhaland was now out of the syllabus" and vowed to work jointly for development of Darjeeling hills.

But only two days later, party supremo Bimal Gurung Sunday questioned the attitude of the state government and said his party will pressurise New Delhi for its Gorkhaland demand.

"The GJM will not drop the Gorkhaland demand. When the centre can accept the Telangana demand, why should we be told to let go of our statehood demand? We will now take the Gorkhaland demand to Delhi on 21st, 22nd and 23rd December. We will create pressure in Delhi now," said Gurung.

The GJM, which earlier said it wanted to run the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) - the autonomous hill council - did a volte face and claimed the attitude of the Banerjee government was a hindrance in running the council.

"She asks us to run the GTA, but can the GTA be run like this with so much interference? Whenever she comes here, her words make us feel aggrieved. She should choose her words carefully," said Gurung.

He also accused the Banerjee government of excesses after more than 1,000 GJM leaders and supporters were arrested in a bid by the administration to crack down on the Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling hills following the Congress and UPA's endorsement of Telangana.

"I would like to ask the chief minister why she is using the police administration in her attempts to extend her political interests? Her attitude is not appropriate. But what can we do? She is running the government. But how long can we tolerate?" asked Gurung.

He also claimed the Trinamool Congress was accommodating "Maoists" in its ranks.

"She calls us Maoists but it's her party workers who are former Maoists. There is a need for investigation into this," added Gurung.

--IANS (Posted on 27-10-2013)

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