GNLF party allege GJM insincerity towards statehood demand, amidst GJM claim

DARJEELING 4 Aug 2016 The Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) today rubbished recent claims made by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) party leaderships that the central government was keen to find a solution to the statehood demand.

On August 2, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri had issued a press statement after meeting union home minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi and placing a memorandum with the statehood and other demands. In his statement the GJM general secretary had said, “The union home minister has assured to hold a meeting after August 15 that will decide on the formation of a committee, to verify our demand for a separate state”.

The GNLF’s central committee legal advisor Neeraj Tamang Zimba, today furnished a RTI (right to information) reply from Ashutosh Jain, the CS-II and CPIO under the ministry of home affairs (SR section) to squash the GJM claim.

The GNLF legal advisor said that in his RTI that was filed on May 2, 2016, he had made four queries.

RTI by Neeraj Zimba Tamang on ‪‎Gorkhaland‬

Zimba said questions one and two referred to which political party from the Darjeeling was the first to raise the statehood demand and since then how many parties had raised the issue with the central government. While the third and fourth queries were on the views of the Union government in this regard and available certified copies of the circulars and the file notes in which the issue of a separate state of Gorkhaland was discussed in the last two years. “You will be surprised by the reply from the CPIO that was made on May 24, 2016. In his reply to my first two queries, Jain has said that the CPIO does not maintain such information. On the other hand for my third and fourth queries, the CPIO has said that the central government does not have any proposal under consideration regarding creation of the state of Gorkhaland,” the GNLF leader said.

The GNLF legal advisor alleged that GJM was only resorting to gimmicks vis-à-vis going to Delhi and meeting central leaders from the BJP including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on different pretexts over the years. “GJM leaders only go to Delhi to take pictures with BJP central leaders. Nothing more than that ever happens,” said Zimba.

The BJP too came under fire from the GNLF leader, who the latter alleged was betraying the Hills people with false promises and specifically highlighted saffron party’s word-play on its 2014 election manifesto.

In its manifesto, the BJP has said that it would “sympathetically examine and appropriately consider” the long pending demands of the Gorkhas. The word Gorkhaland does not find mention anywhere. However, in the case of the Bodos and other tribals of Assam, the party says that “initiatives” will be taken for a permanent solution of their long pending issues.

Zimaba observed, “There is vast difference in the BJP’s outlook towards the people of Darjeeling Hills and those from other states which is reflected in their election manifesto. Words like sympathetically examine and appropriately consider which can mean several things are used for Darjeeling. Also our issue is shown as demands. Whereas, the BJP says initiative, in this case steps will be taken for a permanent solution of long pending issues of the Bodos”.

The GNLF perceived to be cozying up to the TMC is advocating for implementation of sixth schedule in the Hills and has chosen not to take a stand on the statehood issue. “We have neither compromised nor given up the Gorkhaland demand. It is just that our party does not have the mandate for a separate state and so we are pursuing the sixth schedule issue which we feel is the best solution,” said Zimba.

When asked to comment on the allegation, Giri said, “We are sincere with the statehood demand and are pursuing it over the years with the central government. We have nothing to say to those people whose sole purpose is to criticize us for no rhyme or reasons”.


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