Siliguri: Binay Tamang on Sunday asked the Sikkim government to refrain from “interfering” in the Darjeeling hills, the warning coming amid claims that the state had “sheltered” his Gorkha Janmukti Morcha rival Bimal Gurung until recently.
Tamang indicated the ball was in the court of the Pawan Chamling-led government on the kind of relations it wanted with Darjeeling. “We have nothing against the people of Sikkim. We share very close ties but we have a problem with the government there. A government should act like a government but they are interfering in the politics of Darjeeling, Terai and the Dooars,” Tamang, who heads the Gorkhakland Territorial Administration (GTA), told a rally at Sukna, near Siliguri.
“Please take my words seriously. If the Sikkim government continues to interfere in our politics, we will also interfere in their politics,” said Tamang, addressing his first major meeting in almost seven months during which time he was picked to head the GTA.
Landlocked Sikkim has access to the rest India through Darjeeling district. Even though Tamang has maintained that he would not call a general strike in the hills, such strained relations could pose a number of problems for Sikkim.
During general strikes called in the Darjeeling hills, Sikkim has suffered a lot. A resident of Sikkim had moved the Supreme Court to ensure NH-10, which connects the state with the rest of the country, is kept open.
At the rally, Tamang spoke of a new “arrangement” to help settle the key questions of Gorkha “identity” and “security”. “The issue of identity has existed since the British days. We need to solve this issue and we are discussing a new arrangement at the highest level which will solve the issue of (Gorkhas’) identity and security.” The GTA has decided to rename Rohini Road, a key link to Darjeeling, after GNLF founder Subash Ghisingh.