Siliguri, Nov. 19: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Roshan Giri today said the Centre had little option but to confer Union Territory status on Darjeeling once the tenure of the proposed interim set-up ended after two years.
Asked if the Morcha would demand Union Territory once the period of the interim set-up was over, Giri replied: “As we have already rejected the proposal of Sixth Schedule and our demand is for a separate state, the Union government has to decide on those lines. They do not have any other option (but confer Union Territory before they give statehood).”
Giri was speaking on the sidelines of a party rally in Salugara, 7km from Siliguri, where he had come to attend an organisational meeting of the Morcha.
He told the 500-odd supporters gathered at the spot that the party has not compromised with their ultimate target of a separate state. He asked them not to get confused as the interim body was only for two years.
“We have agreed to a set- up just as a temporary arrangement without compromising the separate statehood demand. Our ultimate goal is to achieve Gorkhaland. We have also demanded that the Gorkha-dominated areas in the Terai and the Dooars should be included in the set-up, which has to be identified by sending a joint verification committee comprising the representatives from government and our party,” he said.
The meeting organised by the Bhaktinagar block committee of the hill outfit was also attended by Morcha media and publicity secretary Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the chief co-ordinator of Morcha’s Terai branch Shankar Adhikary and other central committee leaders.