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Cracks in alliance fighting for separate states in N Bengal

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 10, 2009

Darjeeling,October 9, 2009(PTI): Cracks have surfaced in the three-party alliance fighting for separate states in North Bengal with sharp differences among top leaders of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, Kamatapur Progressive Party and Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party.

The GJM, KKP led by Atul Roy and GCBDP led by Asutosh Barma which joined hands last year for a common fight for separate states in North Bengal do not see eye to eye any more, GJM president Bimal Gurung told PTI here.

“Unke saath humlog ka taal mil nahin ho raha hai. Unke kaam karne ka tarika alagh, aur humara alagh (We are not getting along well with them. We work differently),” he said.

“Our movement is to create a separate state within the Indian constitutional framework by 2010 through non-violent Gandhian form of protest and not through armed struggle,” Gurung said.

The problem also arose from GJM’s concept of proposed Gorkhaland which includes some areas in the Dooars in neighbouring Jalpaiguri district, which the KPP wants to include in its Kamtapur state. Also, the territorial demands of KPP and GCBDP include parts of Darjeeling.

Gurung reiterated that he would declare a separate state of Gorkhaland if the fourth round of tripartite talks scheduled on December 21 in Darjeeling failed.

“The GJM will not accept anything short of Gorkhaland,” he said.

“We want Gorkhaland for the development of Darjeeling hills. Only full statehood can usher in lasting peace and fulfill the aspirations of the people of the region who have a different identity, culture and language from the rest of Bengal,” the GJM chief said.

The entire region faced neglect for decades and there was not a single major development project of consequence in the region since Independence, Gurung alleged.

He said BJP’s failure to come to power at the Centre had upset GJM’s plan to achieve Gorkhaland by March 10, 2010.

“BJP had committed Gorkhaland to us. Our target suffered because of the saffron party’s failure to come to power in the Lok Sabha elections,” Gurung said.

He said GJM is now trying to establish relations with the Congress.

On West Bengal Congress chief and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee ruling out division of North Bengal, Gurung said, “He is saying this as a political leader and for political reasons.”


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