In a move that could have a substantial bearing on the political situation in the Darjeeling hills, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership has made it clear that it will avoid any confrontation with the West Bengal government on its Gorkhaland demand, at least for some time to come.

It will instead focus on matters related to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) that it controls, and put pressure, though dialogue, on the Centre for a separate State.

This is partially a reflection of the understanding senior GJM leaders arrived at with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Darjeeling last month – the most notable of which was that the ruling party in the hills will not go in for any fresh agitations or call for strikes in the region in support of its Statehood demand.

GJM president Bimal Gurung reiterated at rally in Kalimpong in the Darjeeling hills on Sunday that his party will be shifting the focus of its Statehood movement to New Delhi, keeping in mind Parliament reconvening for its winter session next month.