STAFF WRITER 19:27 HRS IST
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung has written to Union Home minister P Chidamabaram, curtailing the territorial boundary of the proposed Gorkhaland state to make the demand for a separate state “more logical”.
“Gorkhaland would now include only Gorkha-dominated areas in the Darjeeling hills and contiguous areas to make the demand for statehood more logical’,” GJM spokesperson Harkabahadur Chetri told PTI from Kalimpong where Gurung was camping.
“The proposal was sent to the Union Home Minister on January 27,” Chetri, a GJM Central Committee member said. “There is no point in including those areas where there is resistance to our demand,” Chetri said. Earlier, the GJM had demanded that Siliguri sub-division in Darjeeling district in the plains and the contiguous Dooars areas in Jalpaiguri district be included in Gorkhaland. “Only those areas in the Dooars where the Gorkhas are in a majority are included in the redefined map of proposed Gorkhaland to make our demand for statehood more logical,” he said. To a question Chetri said that Gurung had said that he had given New Delhi time till 2011 to consider the proposal.
Explaining the factors that had influenced the GJM’s curtailment of the areas, Chhetri said these were the reasons behind state government’s opposition to the statehood demand and the Centre delaying the process of Telengana statehood.
The GJM leaders had also realised that a decision could not be taken by 2011 when the state assembly elections were due and Trinamool Congress and Congress alliance, which were opposed to the Gorkhaland demand, could upset the equation, he said. The territorial boundary, he said, was redefined on the suggestions of a study group set up by the GJM, he said.
Chetri claimed that in the plains there were certain adivasi-dominated areas where there was absolute support for Gorkhaland and would not be left out. The GJM also wanted to include areas in Siliguri subdivision where Rajbanshis also wanted a separate state. “Of course this will be done with the consent of the Rajbanshis,” he said.
GJM’s bid to expand base in the Dooars had earlier met with resistance that had led to frequent clashes with the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad. The Left Front in Jalpaiguri had also warned the people against separatist forces attempting to divide the people in the name of Gorkhaland, Kamtapur and Greater Cooch Behar. Tripartite talks at the administrative level on Gorkhaland in Darjeeling on December 21 had failed to reach an agreement with the Centre saying political consensus needed to be created on the demand by GJM which had sought the next round of talks within 45 days.