GJM to celebrate signing of agreement

A file photo of Bimal Gurung.  

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership has given a call in the Darjeeling hills to observe Thursday as a day of celebrations over the recent signing of the agreement for the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

GJM president Bimal Gurung will be addressing a rally in Darjeeling on the occasion. Cultural events have also been planned.

Hailing the agreement as a major achievement of the GJM, which was formed in October 2007, the GJM leadership has pointed out that the aspirations of the people of the region would be finally fulfilled with the creation of a separate Gorkhaland State.

“Our ultimate demand is the creation of Gorkhaland State. Both the Centre and the State government have acknowledged this, as is evident in their agreeing to mention in the memorandum of agreement (for the setting up of the GTA) the fact that the GJM is party to the accord while not dropping their demand for a separate State of Gorkhaland,” GJM's assistant general secretary Benoy Tamang told The Hindu over telephone from Darjeeling on Wednesday.

Describing the GTA as a “milestone to a Gorkhaland state,” Mr. Tamang said the GJM was, however, keen not to “disturb” its cordial relations with both the State government and the Centre that had resulted in the signing of the memorandum of agreement on July 18. On West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's contention that her State would not be divided, he said: “She has her own political compulsions and we [GJM] have ours.”

The GJM has appealed to the authorities of schools and colleges in the hills to keep their institutions closed so that students could join in Thursday's celebrations.

The Sikkim Democratic Front, the ruling party in adjoining Sikkim, has welcomed the signing of the agreement for the setting up of the GTA.

“We hope that the formation of the new body will go a long way in ensuring peace in the region as well as all-round development,” C. B. Karki, a senior SDF leader and Minister of Rural Management and Development, said.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 4:00:26 PM |

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