Voters in Darjeeling are hoping that the fresh assembly elections will support their cause for Gorkhaland<br><P><STRONG>UMA KANTA KHANAL</STRONG> in Jhapa</P>

May 1, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 04 No.-21 April 29-2011 (Baisakh 16,2068)

The Gorkhas of Darjeeling hills are optimistic that their demands for Gorkhaland will be stronger in the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal state this time.

They hope their representatives will raise their demands for a separate state for the Indian Gorkhas. They took part in the April 18 elections to send their representatives to the assembly. The Gorkhas of Darjeeling felt that they did not have their real representatives there before.

One said, "If they had been the real representatives of people of Darjeeling, they could have taken our voices to the state's assembly more strongly."

Darjeeling Gorkhas think that their main obstacle is the ruling Left Front. The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) has been opposing the formation of a separate state of Indian Gorkhas. The leaders of the party say that the first thing is the need to maintain peace in Darjeeling.

Once, the chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, had said in Siliguri that the Gorkhaland state was not possible.

Since then, the party agitating for a separate Gokhaland state, namely, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, and other non-communist parties have been considering the option to go against the ruling left front parties.
The result is an alliance against the ruling parties with Gorkha Janamukti Morcha being the principal party.

Agitating Gorkha Janamukti Morcha has its own three candidates for the Darjeeling hills and two for the Dooars area. It has supported Congress and Trinmul Congress in the rest of the terai.

Morcha had supported the candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party in the last Lok Sabha elections. “But why did we support the candidates of Congress and Trinmul Congress?” one of the supporters of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha Bijay Bhattarai said. "BJP doesn't have its strength in West Bengal. So, we supported other parties like Congress and Trinmul Congress."

He said that everyone is fed up with the ruling left front parties.

Another supporter of GJM, Yadunath Sharma said, "Now we hope that the left front parties will not form the government in West Bengal and we are hopeful that we will get a chance to conduct our programmes as per our rights."

One of the leaders of the ruling CPI (M), Saman Pathak said, "We are still hopeful to form the government although all the opposition parties are on one side."

He claims that CPI (M) has got the organised votes.

The hope of raising a stronger voice for Gorkhaland is rising among the people. A journalist working with a Nepali newspaper, Sanjaya Pradhan said, "The people are eagerly waiting to see their voice raised up in the state's legislative assembly."

Congress and Trinmul Congress still keep mum regarding the issue of Gorkhaland so, it is premature to say that the representatives of Congress and Trinmul Congress will raise their demands in the assembly. And it is estimated that the ruling party of more than two decades will not be easily replaced in the state's government. 

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