Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is trying to get all the pro-Gorkhaland forces together to give further push to the Gorkhaland demand — an issue that is a political compulsion for the party in power in the Hills.
The Morcha has called for an all-party meeting on Tuesday. The Gorkhaland demand occupies the centre stage of Hill politics and is the issue that can breathe a fresh lease of life to the Morcha facing a two pronged challenge. The recent agitation call given by the GJM is being countered by the government and by the TMC on the political front.
Under these conditions, a joint movement would ensure more political space and muscle for the Morcha. “We have called for an all-party meeting on Tuesday at the Gymkhana Club, Darjeeling, at 1 pm. Invitations have been sent to all the parties,” stated GJM general secretary, Roshan Giri.
There are many pro-Gorkhaland forces in the Hills including the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM,) Jan Andolan Party (JAP), All India Gorkha League (AIGL) and the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF). On the other hand, the BJP, an ally of the GJM, has managed to win the Parliamentary elections twice in 2009 and 2014, riding piggyback on the Gorkhaland issue in the Darjeeling constituency.
During both the times, the saffron camp had come out with addendums in their election manifesto stating that the party would sympathetically consider the long-standing demand of Gorkhaland. Though the BJP is shy of the word “Gorkhaland” they have obliquely used the demand to their favour. However, the Bengal state BJP has conveniently distanced itself from the Gorkhaland demand stating that they will not allow a division of Bengal.
Most of the pro Gorkha forces are not averse to a joint movement they have been stressing on collective movement thereby breaking the GJM’s monopoly and unilateral distances. The other pro-Gorkhaland parties like the CPRM have in the past talked of joint movements for Gorkhaland with the GJM but have asked the latter to step out of the GTA which is an arrangement under the state government.
They are not too happy with the GJM’s policy of “eating the cake and having it too” — agitate against the state government while remaining in an arrangement under it. In the past, the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee was formed on August 16, 2013 with nine constituent parties. However, trouble had been brewing since formation.
While the other constituents were constantly pressurising the GJM to scrap the GTA, the GJM had been stalling this stating that all 45 GJM affiliated GTA members would resign at the appropriate time. Finally, the committee was dissolved. “We will resign from the GTA at the right time,” stated Bimal Gurung.