While sending out a message to the West Bengal government as well as its own workers and supporters that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) was not soft-pedalling on its Gorkhaland demand by ruling out strikes in the Darjeeling hills, the party leadership lashed out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday for allegedly using the police administration to further her own political interests.
Just three days after Ms. Banerjee addressed the first public meeting of the Trinamool Congress in Darjeeling, GJM president Bimal Gurung in a massive show of strength told a rally in the hill-town that she was out to create a division among the people of the hills. Mr. Gurung scoffed at the move by the Trinamool Congress to strengthen its base in the hills and, while speaking to journalists later, alleged that it was little more than a political grouping with its local leaders having “no credibility.” Some of its leaders are Maoists from Nepal “who had come to the country about six, seven years ago.”
As for Gorkhaland it “was the final destination” of the GJM and the campaign for it would be taken to New Delhi where rallies would be held for three days from December 21 to create “pressure” on the Centre.
“When the Centre can accept the Telangana demand why should we be told to let go of our Gorkhaland demand?” he asked.
“The GJM will not drop the Gorkhaland demand” as the GTA Act, signed by its leaders, officials of the Centre and the State government “has a clear provision which has the demand “on record,” Mr. Gurung later wrote in a social networking site.
But his tirade was chiefly against Ms. Banerjee. Whenever she came to Darjeeling, her remarks like “there would be no division of Bengal” hurt local sentiments, he said.
“How long can this continue?” he asked, even as he reminded the Chief Minister that the GJM was against violence in the hills and sought “peaceful dialogue” to resolve the political crisis in the region.
Charging that her government used the police to extend her political interests, he said: “This is not the right attitude of the Bengal government. Her politics should be based on principles… not create divisions within communities of the hills” – an obvious reference to her move to win over the Lepchas of the region for whom her government had set up a development board as well. “If so many development boards come up then how will GTA function?” the GJM chief asked.