The Times of India
TNN, 30 January 2010, 04:10am IST
DARJEELING: In an apparent climbdown, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is weighing the option of settling for an interim council rather than the earlier stand of nothing short of a Gorkhaland state. It is also willing to give up its claim on the large parts of Dooars and Siliguri, where it is facing stiff opposition to its statehood call, senior GJM leaders said on Friday.
According to sources, the GJM leadership may opt for a council, within a limited time-frame, having wider legislative and financial powers and a larger geographical area than the present Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).
GJM, which is facing strong resistance from the Adivasi and Bengali communities in the Dooars and Siliguri, has decided to leave out these “troublesome” parts and instead concentrate on including Gorkha-dominated areas.
Announcing this at a public meeting at Jholung in Kalimpong subdivision on Thursday, GJM chief Bimal Gurung said he has sent a secret proposal to this effect to the Union government for its consideration by 2011. Because of resistance from the Adivasis, a slight change in the name of the proposed “new state” has also been suggested to Delhi, he added.
Though Gurung did not elaborate on his proposal, senior GJM leaders hinted that he could be talking about an interim council with additional powers.