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Morcha lines up sessions on talks

Posted by Ramesh Khati on August 18, 2009

Bimal Gurung performs a puja at Chowrastha in Darjeeling for the successful completion of the talks.

Bimal Gurung performs a puja at Chowrastha in Darjeeling for the successful completion of the talks.

Darjeeling, Aug 17(The Telegraph): The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has lined up a series of public meetings in the hills on the recently held tripartite talks starting from tomorrow before announcing its next phase of agitation.

However, immediate strikes are being ruled out with the Morcha saying the tripartite meeting, which was held in New Delhi on August 11, had “progressed well”.

“The delegation (that had participated in the talks) today apprised the central committee leaders about the developments in Delhi. We have decided to hold a public meeting in Kalimpong tomorrow followed by one in Kurseong the next day to tell the people about the developments,” said party general secretary Roshan Giri.

The meeting in Darjeeling will be held on August 20. “It will be attended by party president Bimal Gurung who will then announce the future course of action,” Giri said.

He added that the Morcha had already adopted a resolution on June 25, 2008 that the government should repeal the DGHC Act and create Gorkhaland in its place. “We are very clear about this demand.” The resolution, Giri claimed, had been forwarded to political leaders in Delhi and Calcutta.

Asked if the party was willing to accept the implementation of the panchayat system — the single tier system has been defunct since 2005 in the hills — Giri said: “The party believes in democratic setups. We had not participated in the municipality elections because a three-tier system had not been put in place in the hills.”

However, the Morcha maintained that the three-tier system should be implemented across the district including Siliguri. “This means that the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad — a one-of-its kind arrangement — must be scrapped and a zilla parishad put in place as there can only be one zilla parishad in a district,” said Giri.

The Morcha’s stand essentially means that implementation of the panchayat system will not be easy for the state government as residents of Siliguri subdivision are most likely to oppose any move to scrap the mahakuma parishad.

Giri also said his party members would carry on with the relay hunger strikes at Metelli, Birpara and Kalchini for some days. “As of now it will continue,” said Giri.

With the Samsing tea garden reopening after nine years today, it was expected that the Morcha would lift the fast at least in Metelli where the estate is situated. The Morcha had started the hunger strike demanding the immediate reopening of the Samsing, Katalguri and Ramjhora tea gardens.


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