DARJEELING In A Lull

Darjeeling is quiet now as a lull before a storm<br>UMA KANTA KHANAL in Jhapa

Nov. 1, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. 04 No.-09 Oct 29 2010 (Kartik 12, 2067)

Following a couple of calm months, Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, a party agitating for a separate state within India, has threatened to revive its agitation if talks fail.

The Morcha has threatened to reject the proposed set-up for the Darjeeling hills if it perceives that the CPM-led Bengal government is trying to drag the issue and defer the formation of the interim authority, piling pressure on the state and the centre for a hard bargain before the next round of talks.

Up to October 11, there had been eleven rounds of talks in the administrative level.

The eleventh round could not resolve the issues. The meeting decided to hold a political dialogue tentatively at the end of October. The Morcha has warned that the forthcoming meeting will be the last political-level meeting.

"If the meeting fails to form an interim set-up, we will resume our agitation for Gorkhaland, and nothing less," Morcha's press and publication secretary Harka Bahadur Chhetri said.

"Although the last meeting decided that the next political level meeting would be held at the end of October, this is the time for Durga Puja and Tihar, so we are unable to fix the date for the forthcoming meeting," Binay Tamang, assistant secretary of Morcha, said over the phone.

By the end of the eleven rounds of talks with the central and the state governments, the Morcha failed to convince the central ruling parties about their demand for a separate statehood. Many analysts have claimed that no single call for separate statehood was articulated at the time of talks.

The example was seen a few days ago in Darjeeling when a ruling party in the centre, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee - railway minister in the centre, denied division of Bengal. She was addressing a public rally in Darjeeling. She said, "Gorkha Janamukti Morcha leadership met me and they did not talk of a separate state, rather all their demands pertained to developmental issues. You all are agitating for development, for employment and for civic amenities."

Banerjee emphasized the ongoing agitation was for developmental needs only. She had promised that she would soon meet the Prime Minister to confirm the special package of development for Darjeeling hills.

The state government is also not in the intention to divide the state from the initial phase of the demand of Gorkhaland. "We want the Morcha to drop its demand and let an elected body take charge of the set-up,” state urban development minister, Ashok Bhattacharya, said. The state government of West Bengal has regularly been attending the tripartite talks for the last eleven rounds.

It is not only Morcha in Darjeeling hills to have threatened a movement. Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League, which has been criticising the state government’s failure to arrest Nickole Tamang, the key accused in the Madan Tamang murder case, who had escaped from CID’s custody, has said that it would launch a movement soon, demanding CBI inquiry into the killing. "After the festivals are over, we are thinking about renewing our movement, demanding the arrest of Nickole and other culprits," League's working president, Dawa Sherpa, said.  Madan Tamang, who was president of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League, was killed in Darjeeling at the time of preparation of a mass meeting on May 21.
our text here. The example was seen a few days ago in Darjeeling when a ruling party in the centre, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee - railway minister in the centre, denied division of Bengal. She was addressing a public rally in Darjeeling. She said, "Gorkha Janamukti Morcha leadership met me and they did not talk of a separate state, rather all their demands pertained to developmental issues. You all are agitating for development, for employment and for civic amenities."

Banerjee emphasized the ongoing agitation was for developmental needs only. She had promised that she would soon meet the Prime Minister to confirm the special package of development for Darjeeling hills.

The state government is also not in the intention to divide the state from the initial phase of the demand of Gorkhaland. "We want the Morcha to drop its demand and let an elected body take charge of the set-up,” state urban development minister, Ashok Bhattacharya, said. The state government of West Bengal has regularly been attending the tripartite talks for the last eleven rounds.

It is not only Morcha in Darjeeling hills to have threatened a movement. Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League, which has been criticising the state government’s failure to arrest Nickole Tamang, the key accused in the Madan Tamang murder case, who had escaped from CID’s custody, has said that it would launch a movement soon, demanding CBI inquiry into the killing. "After the festivals are over, we are thinking about renewing our movement, demanding the arrest of Nickole and other culprits," League's working president, Dawa Sherpa, said.  Madan Tamang, who was president of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League, was killed in Darjeeling at the time of preparation of a mass meeting on May 21.
our text here.

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