Statesman News Service
KALIMPONG, June 1. — One of the constituents of the PDF coalition, the GNLF-C, has called a public meeting to decide upon the Hills issue. The anti-Ghisingh front will hold the public meeting at the Damber chowk on Saturday.
The party’s chief convener, Col. (retd) DK Pradhan, said that the GNLF-C would reiterate the demand for a separate state.
“We have always been sidelined by Bengal and Ghisingh never cared about it. Now Sikkim too is chasing us away. Perhaps we will have to make a Noah’s ark now which will fit in all the Nepalese and keep on sailing to an unknown destination forever,” he said. “In the present situation, only the formation of a Gorkhaland will fulfil the needs of the Nepalese,” he said.
The Front has off-late extended its support to the GNLF’s demand for the Sixth schedule. While the latter has made it clear that only the Sixth Schedule or a separate Gorkhaland would be acceptable to the people of the Hills, the GNLF-C too was full of criticism for the government’s initiative for Article 371-J for the Darjeeling Hills.
“Sixth Schedule will be a medium for Gorkhaland. Besides, it will also partially separate us from Bengal,” Col. (retd) Pradhan said. When asked about Article-371-J, he said: “Constitutional guarantee and additional funds hardly matter now as the Gorkhas have been struggling for more than a hundred years just for recognition of the place they stay in.”
Party seniors had also supported Mr Ghisingh’s call for the inclusion of hill tribes, claiming of much diversion among the Gorkhas.
“We will also address the complexities involved in all of these issues,” Col. Pradhan said.
Sources said that the GNLF-C would also send out a message to its alliance partners in the PDF that the hill parties need to work individually on the various issues.
All of its core committee members, including the Darjeeling MLA, Mr DK Pradhan, Mr Norden Lama, Mr Maximus Kalikothey and Mr Binod Pradhan, are expected to attend the meeting. Significantly, the GNLF-C has also sent a requisition to the chief secretary (Home) and IG (North Bengal) for an immediate initiation of a CBI inquiry into the assassination of former DGHC councillor CK Pradhan.
The branch committee of CPRM had also called a public meeting hours prior to the GNLF-C’s but cancelled it due internal party matters.
Statesman News Service