Centre to decide on interim set-up: Morcha chief

The Telegraph

Bagdogra, April 16: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today said the Centre would have to take a call on the party’s proposal for an interim administrative set-up for the hills and iterated that it would not drop Siliguri subdivision from the proposed map for the separate state it wants.

On his return from Delhi with four other leaders, Morcha president Bimal Gurung said: “We have placed our proposal for the interim set-up to the central government and now it is for them to decide. The ball is in their court, we’ll wait and see how they play it.”

According to Gurung, it is the Centre — and not the Morcha — which will take the subject (of the proposed set-up) further. “We have made necessary submissions on the set-up that we want to the central government,” Gurung said surrounded by 100-odd supporters who had reached the airport to receive him. “The central government may hold talks with the state and any other organisation, if necessary, before finalising the set-up. The Union home minister had told us that the issue would be discussed in detail at the next round of tripartite talks scheduled in mid-May.”

The hills are agog with rumours that GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh would be called by the Union home ministry to know his mind on the proposed set-up. GNLF leaders here have been insisting that other political parties in the hills should be called by the Centre for discussions. They said, if called, Ghisingh would ask the ministry to either confer Sixth Schedule status or carve out the separate state of Gorkhaland.

The Morcha president, however, refused to admit that the GNLF leader had much chances of a comeback. “Subash Ghisingh has become irrelevant for the hills now. His comeback is nothing but an imagination,” Gurung said. “We have no clue why the media is resorting to this hype as it (news) hardly has any base.”

Gurung ruled out leaving Siliguri subdivision out of the proposed map from the set-up. “Siliguri is an integral part of Darjeeling district which is why our demand is pertinent. There is no question of leaving it outside the scope of the set-up or Gorkhaland,” he said before heading for the hills in a convoy.

The five-member team had left for the capital last week and had meet Union home minister P. Chidambaram on April 9. The minister had refused to make any commitment to the Morcha demand on territory and had instead suggested that the party discuss it with the state government.


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