In a significant development on Monday, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership announced putting on hold its agitation in the Darjeeling hills for a separate State even though it would continue its campaign for Gorkhaland through peaceful protests and rallies.
This comes a day after Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh said in Darjeeling that it was time to keep politics aside for five to ten years and focus on the development of the region instead.
“We have taken the decision in the wake of Mr. Ramesh’s visit and having realised that the attitude of the Centre is agreeable,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told The Hindu on the phone from Darjeeling.
The GJM had set the Centre the deadline of April 9 to take a call on the Gorkhaland demand failing which it would resume its agitation.
A programme of a series of agitations that had included strikes and closure of all government offices last month was put in abeyance in response to requests made separately by President Pranab Mukherjee and some senior Union Ministers.