Gorkha Janmukti Morcha vs the rest in Darjeeling

Darjeeling: In response to a request from the Darjeeling district administration, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has postponed the June 7 public meeting, announced soon after their top party leadership had been charge-sheeted by the CBI in the Madan Tamang murder case.

(From left) Bharati Tamang of the ABGL, RB Rai of the CPRM and leaders of other parties at the meeting in Darjeeling on Tuesday. Picture by Suman Tamang [telegraph]

(From left) Bharati Tamang of the ABGL, RB Rai of the CPRM and leaders of other parties at the meeting in Darjeeling on Tuesday. Picture by Suman Tamang [telegraph]

 The Morcha’s decision to put off the meeting is being seen as an indication that it does not want to antagonise the state government at this time. The Morcha was expected to talk about the ‘false’ implication of top leaders, including Bimal Gurung, in the Madan Tamang case at the Darjeeling Motor Stand on Sunday.

Madan Tamang, a popular and well respected leader was brutally assassinated in Darjeeling.

Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, in a press release, said that keeping in mind the inflow of tourists in this tourist season, the party has decided to postpone the public meeting scheduled at Darjeeling Motor Stand on Sunday. The next date of the meeting will be finalised during a meeting of the party’s central committee.”

Asked if the district administration had requested the Morcha to cancel its meeting, Anurag Srivastav, district magistrate, Darjeeling, said: “Permission needs to be sought for a public meeting. We had informally given our view that if a big rally is held during the peak tourist season, it could inconvenience the general public.”

However, the party’s decision to immediately heed the administration’s opinion, according to observers, is a clear hint that the hill party does not want to ruffle the state government’s feathers.

Only yesterday, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Kalimpong MLA of the Morcha, had met chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Calcutta and raised the issue of the CBI chargesheet. Mamata, sources said, told him that the state government was not involved in the matter and could not do anything about it.

With the Morcha on the backfoot, its rivals have come together and floated the Democratic Front with the purported objective of restoring democracy in the hills.

The front was formed by the ABGL, , CPRM, GNLF, CPM and Sikkim-Darjeeling Akikaran Manch. Leaders of the five outfits met at the ABGL office here today and announced the launch of the front.

R.B. Rai, the president of the CPRM and a former Darjeeling MP, said: “The front has not been formed to pursue political issues but merely to ensure that democracy is restored in the hills. Different political parties have different demands but without democracy, nothing will be useful. We want those who are guilty of murdering Madan Tamang to be punished.”

Pratap Khati, the general secretary of the ABGL, has been made the convenor of the front.

The front plans to meet Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi in Darjeeling on Wednesday. “We will also start a poster campaign and plan to hold a public meeting in Darjeeling on Friday. We have, however, not applied for permission,” said Rai.

The Trinamul Congress, invited to join the Democratic Front, stayed away from the meeting as it had its own party programme in Darjeeling.

Asked if Trinamul would join the front, Rajen Mukhia, president, TMC (hills), said: “As of now, we do not have plans to join the front. We, however, support their issue and we demand justice at the earliest.”

Reacting to the formation of the front, Morcha leader Binay Tamang said in a statement: “Had this front been created for Gorkhaland, we would have welcomed the move. Today, some political parties are talking about democracy but where were they when C.K. Pradhan, Rudra Pradhan and Prakash Theeng (GNLF leaders) were murdered. During the 1986 (Gorkhaland) agitation, there were allegations of murder by the CPM and CPRM cadres. During the 20-year rule of the GNLF, there were a number of murders. How can these parties talk about restoration of democracy? Democracy was restored in the hills after the Morcha was formed.”

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Posted by on June 3, 2015. Filed under Breaking News,NORTH EAST. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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