While the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership will announce on Saturday its stand on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) elections slated for July 29, there were heated discussions here on Thursday between party president Bimal Gurung and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the outstanding issues relating to the territorial jurisdiction of the proposed new body.
“We have been discussing the territory issue (with the State Government) for long. So it is natural there will be a few heated exchanges on the matter,” Mr. Gurung told journalists at the State Secretariat after a meeting between a five-member GJM delegation led by him and Ms. Banerjee, which he otherwise described as “good”.
On the GJM participating in the upcoming GTA polls, he said though a decision would be taken at a core committee meeting of the party in Darjeeling on June 30, it would win in all the 45 constituencies where elections will be held, were the GJM to contest.
“If we don’t win in 45 out of the 45 constituencies, I will leave politics,” Mr. Gurung said, throwing ample hints that the GJM is considering participating in the elections despite its differences with the Government on the question of inclusion of Gorkha-dominated mouzas in the Terai and Dooars within the ambit of the GTA.
The GJM’s opposition to the recommendation of the committee headed by Justice (Retired) Shyamal Sen, that five mouzas in the Terai and the Dooars be transferred to the GTA — as against the party’s demand for 396 — was reasserted at the meeting with Ms. Banerjee. “We gave our views on the matter, and were asked by Madam (Ms. Banerjee) to submit our complaints and reports to the fact-verification committee (set up to look into the factual aspects of the report of the panel headed by Justice Sen),” Mr. Gurung said. The GJM has faith in the fact-verification committee, and is ready to wait for its findings,” he added.