Gorkhatimes

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Morcha warns BJP of tie-up review – Commitment should be as it was in the past, says Gurung

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 8, 2009

Darjeeling, Oct. 7: Bimal Gurung today said the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha “would not hesitate” to review its relation with the BJP if the saffron party failed to live up to its commitment towards the creation of Gorkhaland.
The Morcha president, however, maintained that he was satisfied with the BJP leaders raising the Gorkhaland issue in Parliament.
“Leaders like Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Jaswant Singh and Sushma Swaraj have raised the issue in Parliament and it has been recorded. I am satisfied with what they have done. In future, too, both the BJP and Jaswant Singh must remain committed to the cause. If they do not show the same commitment as (they did) in the past, we will not hesitate to review our relation,” said Gurung adding that the party would settle for nothing less than statehood.
The threat to explore other options comes for the first time since the Morcha’s dalliance with the BJP and the subsequent thumping victory of Singh, the national party’s Darjeeling Lok Sabha candidate.
Gurung was addressing a programme at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan to commemorate the second foundation day of the party. The programme, which was attended by representatives of the Gorkha community from some of the northeastern states, Calcutta and Uttarakhand, was shifted midway from Chowrastha following repeated spells of heavy rain.
The Morcha leader did not hesitate to add that the party was not averse to aligning with the Congress if the situation so demanded. “Till the last moment before the Lok Sabha polls we had kept our options open even with the Congress. Since the BJP committed itself fully towards our cause, we supported them. Certain people with vested interests did not want the negotiations with the Congress to be successful,” said Gurung.
This was also the first time that Gurung was speaking on the Morcha’s relation with Singh after he was expelled from the BJP following the controversy over his book on Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Gurung clarified that the party had deliberated extensively on fielding an independent candidate for the parliamentary polls. “However, I was firm in supporting a national party as we had to take the issue to the national stage which we have been able to.”
The leader also warned that if the fourth round of tripartite talks between the Morcha, state and the Centre fails on December 21, he could declare the creation of Gorkhaland.
Observers said the declaration would mean a stronger agitation, even though Gurung had said in the past he would never take the path of violence.
The Morcha leader expressed his anguish over the people’s lukewarm response to the party’s call to wear traditional dress for a month starting from September 25. “This is our cultural movement to show that we are different from the rest of Bengal. I again appeal to all to wear the traditional dress on December 21 when the tripartite meeting takes place.”
He said he would announce more programmes during a public meeting on October 25 and added that he would form a co-ordination committee of Gorkha representatives from across the Northeast and north India to strengthen the cause of Gorkhaland.
The Morcha president today made it “mandatory” for college teachers also to wear traditional dresses three days a week, adding that he would not compel others to wear the dresses. “But I am making it compulsory for college students as they are our future and they need to understand our culture,” he said.

A parade by members of the Gorkhaland Personnel at Chowrastha on Wednesday.

A parade by members of the Gorkhaland Personnel at Chowrastha on Wednesday.

Darjeeling, Oct. 7(The Telegraph): Bimal Gurung today said the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha “would not hesitate” to review its relation with the BJP if the saffron party failed to live up to its commitment towards the creation of Gorkhaland.

The Morcha president, however, maintained that he was satisfied with the BJP leaders raising the Gorkhaland issue in Parliament.

Gurung unfurls the party flag.

Gurung unfurls the party flag.

“Leaders like Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Jaswant Singh and Sushma Swaraj have raised the issue in Parliament and it has been recorded. I am satisfied with what they have done. In future, too, both the BJP and Jaswant Singh must remain committed to the cause. If they do not show the same commitment as (they did) in the past, we will not hesitate to review our relation,” said Gurung adding that the party would settle for nothing less than statehood.

The threat to explore other options comes for the first time since the Morcha’s dalliance with the BJP and the subsequent thumping victory of Singh, the national party’s Darjeeling Lok Sabha candidate.

Gurung was addressing a programme at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan to commemorate the second foundation day of the party. The programme, which was attended by representatives of the Gorkha community from some of the northeastern states, Calcutta and Uttarakhand, was shifted midway from Chowrastha following repeated spells of heavy rain.

The Morcha leader did not hesitate to add that the party was not averse to aligning with the Congress if the situation so demanded. “Till the last moment before the Lok Sabha polls we had kept our options open even with the Congress. Since the BJP committed itself fully towards our cause, we supported them. Certain people with vested interests did not want the negotiations with the Congress to be successful,” said Gurung.

This was also the first time that Gurung was speaking on the Morcha’s relation with Singh after he was expelled from the BJP following the controversy over his book on Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Gurung clarified that the party had deliberated extensively on fielding an independent candidate for the parliamentary polls. “However, I was firm in supporting a national party as we had to take the issue to the national stage which we have been able to.”

The leader also warned that if the fourth round of tripartite talks between the Morcha, state and the Centre fails on December 21, he could declare the creation of Gorkhaland.

Observers said the declaration would mean a stronger agitation, even though Gurung had said in the past he would never take the path of violence.

The Morcha leader expressed his anguish over the people’s lukewarm response to the party’s call to wear traditional dress for a month starting from September 25. “This is our cultural movement to show that we are different from the rest of Bengal. I again appeal to all to wear the traditional dress on December 21 when the tripartite meeting takes place.”

He said he would announce more programmes during a public meeting on October 25 and added that he would form a co-ordination committee of Gorkha representatives from across the Northeast and north India to strengthen the cause of Gorkhaland.

The Morcha president today made it “mandatory” for college teachers also to wear traditional dresses three days a week, adding that he would not compel others to wear the dresses. “But I am making it compulsory for college students as they are our future and they need to understand our culture,” he said.

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